Fall is here, and we're happy

There's no denying it, summer is pretty much over here in Vermont.  The days still warm up by the afternoon, and yes, there will be those few sweltering days that always pop up sometime in October, but the angle of the sunlight has shifted. The nights are cool. The air smells different.
Fall has arrived.

But we're glad, really. It's harvest time! Our weekly boxes from the Intervale have been FULL of wonderful organic kale, carrots, chard, herbs, fennel, melons, cucumbers, and peppers.
We've been giving lots of  beautiful produce away to our families, and turning the rest in to delicious lunches!

Here's a journey in photos, from farm to school lunch...
The gorgeous grounds at the Intervale Center

My trusty minivan, full of organic goodness!

Kale, kale, and more kale! Time to wash, dry, and remove stems.

Kale and carrots in the food processor, ready for chopping

Finely chopped kale and carrots, cooking in a little olive oil

Turkey meatballs, made with kale and carrot mixture

Fresh tomato sauce for pasta, also made with kale and carrots

Kale salad

Here's a recipe for my easy tomato sauce with extra veggies..

1 bunch kale, washed, dried, tough stems removed.
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into one or two inch pieces
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil (or three or four fresh basil leaves, chopped)
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar

Add first five ingredients to food processor and whizz until everything is chopped finely and almost forming a paste.

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat, then scrape everything out of the processor and into the saucepan. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is heated through. Add the can of crushed tomatoes and stir to combine everything. Let simmer over medium/low heat until it's just starting to bubble. Add the salt, pepper, herbs, vinegar, and sugar and stir well. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for at least 15 minutes, or up to an hour or two. Taste and adjust seasonings if you like.
Tomato soup with kale and carrot base, on an Actual Preschooler's Lunch Plate!

Serve over pasta,  use as a sauce for homemade pizza, OR stir in 1 1/2 cups of warmed milk (2% or higher, no skim!) and 1/4 cup of good grated parmesan cheese for a delicious soup - as seen above!