Campanile chef Mark Peel drives to the Santa Monica Farmers Market each week to select produce for his restaurant. He loves the produce this time of year and uses it to make lots of soups. Cabbage soup is one of his favorites. He likes the Savoy variety, with its round head and crinkly leaves. Mark sautes bacon slices and a half head of thinly sliced cabbage in olive oil. After adding a 16-oz can of chicken broth and enough water to make 2 quarts, he simmers the mixture for a half-hour with a few sliced carrots and the heart of the celery with the leaves. He then adds salt and pepper. The soup looks a bit like a minestrone. There are many recipes available to make a simple leek and potato soup. The farmers market has long-neck leeks with a foot or more of usable whites. Use a Russet potato for the best starchy consistency.
Evan visited the Hollywood Farmers Market, where she visited with an herb seller from ABC Rhubarb. Lily Balthazar is featuring watercress, and dandelion greens. She also carries rue, a non-culinary herb which wards of flying objects in the kitchen. ABC also has oyster mushrooms, which are great baked in parchment paper with some chopped herbs (350° for 30 minutes). These go great in a rice pilaf or make a nice side dish.
Music break: Coffee At Chango's by James Hardway