What’s Cooking in Kelli’s Kitchen - Something to Fill the Bowl

  • 2022-04-10, 08:33 AM (update 2022-04-10, 08:41 AM)
  • Kelli Kelly
What’s Cooking in Kelli’s Kitchen - Something to Fill the Bowl Kelli Kelly

This last weekend I contributed to and attended a wonderful event hosted by the Churchill County Library. The Empty Bowls Project is “a grassroots movement by artists and craftspeople in cities and towns around the world to raise money for food-related charities to care for and feed the hungry in their communities.” In Churchill County, this effort was spearheaded by Churchill County High School art instructor and Churchill Library Association board member Jamie Shafer. Community members prepared soup to be served in bowls crafted and donated by art students in exchange for the donation of non-perishable food items to stock our community’s Karma Boxes. The event intends to raise awareness and respond to increasing levels of food insecurity in our community.

The issue of food insecurity is near to my heart. In 2020, I facilitated a grant project for the Fallon Food Hub that distributed over 50,000 pounds of locally raised produce to food-insecure households in Churchill County. When we surveyed the households participating in the Fallon Farmers Care Community Food Project, we uncovered some information that sheds light on food security here in our community. Over 75% of the families worried about running out of food to feed their families before they had more money available at least 6 times a year. Almost 80% of the respondents were unable to regularly provide balanced meals to their families. “Balanced” is defined as meals that included at least one portion of fresh fruits or vegetables a day. And 55% of respondents regularly relied on one or two kinds of low-cost food items to feed their children. Food insecurity is not just something that happens in undeveloped countries or amongst houseless populations in urban centers, it happens here too. Community efforts to combat food insecurity often make all the difference which is one of the reasons why I was so enthusiastic about participating in the efforts of the Churchill County Library.

I was reminded of one of the fables that was always a childhood favorite, “Stone Soup.”  While there are many different interpretations of the age-old story, I prefer to celebrate how the community comes together to create a nourishing and delicious cauldron of soup that feeds everyone. The outcome of their efforts was greater than what each family or farmer would have been able to complete on their own. We must tackle our community challenges together because, with collaboration, the outcome will far surpass what any of us can achieve alone.

 

Kelli’s Stone Soup to Fill Empty Bowls

 

INGREDIENTS:

5 carrots, washed and diced

2 onions, peeled and diced

5 celery stalks, diced

4 T olive oil

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 can crushed tomatoes

2 qts stock

3 bay leaves

4 cups cooked white beans

1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped

3 cups cooked ditalini pasta, or other small variety

1 link Smoked Kielbasa sausage, diced

Salt

Pepper

Chili flakes

Fresh herbs

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté celery, carrots, and onions in olive oil until soft. Add garlic and continue to cook until fragrant but not turning brown. Add crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, and stock. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes to let flavors meld.
  2. Add in cooked white beans, kale, and sausage. Simmer until kale is wilted. Add pasta and any other dry herbs & spices that you prefer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add chili flakes if desired. Finish with chopped fresh herbs.
  3. For a true “Stone Soup” combine ingredients from your garden and your neighbors’ gardens and share a bowl in community.
Kelli Kelly

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