There are small changes happening in the natural world around us that herald the return of spring. The buds are beginning to swell on the trees, shadows are getting longer as the light returns, and the birds are singing in the woods. In response to all of these changes, the chickens are starting to lay more eggs. With many families and farmers raising chickens on Martha’s Vineyard, we celebrate the spring and eggs as our Harvest of the Month this March.
Though $7 a dozen might seem like a lot to spend on local eggs, that equals a little over 50 cents a portion, which makes eggs the most affordable source of local protein available. Pasture-raised eggs are a great source of many nutrients and minerals, such as omega-3 fatty acids, and the proof is in the yolk. Birds who are free to forage for bugs and graze on grass will have rich, orange yolks. A fresh egg will have a yolk that stands up, and a firm white that does not spread much.
Whip up this egg-drop soup to warm you on a chilly March day.
Spring Egg-Drop Soup
¼ cup olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 small scallions, chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
2½ cups mixed spring vegetables: asparagus cut into ½-inch pieces, sugar snap peas cut into ½-inch pieces, shelled peas, and chopped spinach leaves
1 Tbsp. mint leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp. chives, chopped
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, add carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and scallions, cook 1 minute. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add chopped spring vegetables and simmer until crisp and tender, about 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat eggs in a small bowl. Add mint and chives. Reduce heat to low and drizzle in egg mixture. Let stand 1 minute, then gently add lemon juice. Add salt to taste.
Emily Armstrong is the preschool coordinator for Island Grown Schools, the Vineyard’s farm-to-school nonprofit. For more information, visit islandgrownschools.org.