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Inside Kendall

Wrapping Up Farmers’ Market Season the Right Way

With fall getting started, and the last few weeks of local farmers’ markets coming up, it’s time to take full advantage of what they have to offer. Knowing what to do with all of the ingredients you selected can be tricky. Similar to cooking with garden fresh ingredients from the farmers’ market, The Dining Room at Kendall College incorporates items from the on-campus garden in menu items.

The garden, which began in 2005, shortly after Kendall College made its move from Evanston to the current downtown Chicago campus, produces a variety of crops, most of which are contributed to not only The Dining Room, but also are used in the on-campus Café and Quick Service Restaurant.

Chef Peggy Ryan, Chef Instructor at Kendall, has put together a recipe perfect for the chilly weather, featuring ingredients from the Kendall College garden for some farmers’ market inspiration!

Lentil Soup, Peppered Creme Fraiche, Fried Celery Leaves

Lentil Soup

Yields 16 servings

¼ cup olive oil

2 cups diced onions

2 cups diced leek

2 cups diced peeled carrot

2 cups diced peeled celery root

2 cups diced peeled parsnip

2 cups brown lentils

4 smoked ham hocks

¼ cup tomato paste

6 quarts chicken stock

Salt and pepper

Heavy cream for service

  1. In a heavy soup pot, sauté the onions and leek until tender. Add the remaining ingredients, except for cream. Simmer, covered, until ham hocks are very tender, about 2 hours.
  2. Remove ham hocks and cool. Puree soup and strain, season, and thin with additional stock if desired and cool. When hocks are cool enough to pick out the meat, discarding all gristle, shred and reserve for garnish.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of cream for every 6 cups of soup heated for service. Thin soup with additional stock if needed.

Peppered Crème Fraiche

1 cup crème fraiche


½ tsp. ground black pepper

Whip crème fraiche to stiff peaks. Season with salt and stir in pepper.


To serve

Place a small amount of shredded ham hock in bottom of soup bowl. Top with a quenelle of peppered crème fraiche. Top with fried celery leaves. Ladle soup into the bowl. Enjoy!


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