This Month’s Photo Contest Winner

Last Month’s Winner

amor_comida Soup

Michelle Rodriguez is on Instagram at She is one of the chefs at Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay and moved back to the Midwest from Austin, TX.  After a stint cooking at the Girl and the Goat in Chicago, she returned home to Traverse City.

Michelle’s photo was the winner in the first ever #eatdrinkTC Photo Contest, and she will receive a $50 gift certificate from Bay Town Kitchen!

She made two separate soups and you can get the recipes below – thanks Michelle and congratulations!

This Month’s Prize

This month’s prize is the Sleeping Bear Gift Basket from Traverse Gourmet. It’s one of their many all-Michigan gourmet food gift baskets and features some great TC area companies:

Click here to enter this month’s photo contest!

More about Michelle & some recipes!

Michelle says that she heads to the farmers market every weekend to grab fresh veggies. On the weekend she took the winning photo, she was inspired by sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes). They aren’t something she works with all the time, and she loves a challenge & trying new things. She writes:

This recipe is a little complicated, because I don’t follow recipes – I just wing it! I tried to narrow it down to a recipe in case anyone wants to recreate this delicious soup! One was a Sunchoke Potato and the other was a Jalapeno Kale & Spinach. Swirled together it was sweet, savory & spicy, rich & comforting. Perfect for the winter season. If you can’t find sunchokes, just add more potato – it will still turn out great!

Sunchoke Potato Soup

2 tablespoons butter
3 cups peeled and chopped sunchokes
3 cups peeled and chopped potatoes
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 medium chopped yellow (or white) onion
1 cup cream
3 cups chicken or veggie broth
salt and white pepper to taste

Boil the sunchokes & potatoes together until they are soft (make sure they are cut the same size so they cook evenly). Drain, and set aside.

In a pot, saute the garlic and onions until with the butter until soft. When they are soft, add in the drained potatoes, sunchokes, & add the chicken broth… I started off with adding 3 cups chicken broth. See what the consistency is first, you can always add more.

Bring to a boil, then shut off heat. Use either a stand blender or immersion blender to blend the soup smooth. Add in the cream last. If the soup is too thick you can add more chicken broth.

Jalapeno Spinach & Kale Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 bunch chopped and cleaned kale
2 cups spinach
1 chopped garlic clove
1 chopped jalapeno (you can de-seed it if you want a mild flavor)
1 medium chopped onion
thyme or rosemary (if you have it)
salt and white pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups chicken or veggie broth

Saute the onions and garlic with jalapeno, until soft.

Add in the spinach and kale and cook until wilted.

Add in the broth, bring to a boil, and then blend the soup with a stand blender or immersion blender until smooth.

To get the swirled effect, I ladled in the green soup first then the sunchoke last, sort of like you would a latte! You can garnish it with fresh chopped herbs, or a little sour cream, or my new favorite local product that I love using as a garnish is The Chile Oil from Fustinis.