Mary's Veggie Garden

December 22, 2014

Broth Reconsidered

Filed under: Carrots,Celeriac,Leeks,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 10:25 am

When I was much younger I though that making broth was a waste of perfectly good vegetables.  Why spend good money, or even worse, lots of gardening time to grow  onions, carrots, celery, leeks, and turnips,  only to boil them for hours then strain them out of the broth and discard?

It’s only in the last few years that I’ve come to appreciate broth as a way to use vegetables that should not be featured raw or as a  cooked side dish.

Ingredients for broth

Ingredients for broth

These are the vegetables that went into the stock pot with the turkey bones:

  • Leek greens. The greens are too tough to chew but they have all that good leek flavor. Scrub them well and chop across the strappy leaves.
  • Celeriac greens. These are too tough and too strong-tasting to eat raw, but they are great for flavoring broth.  Use sparingly or you might have too much celery flavor.
  • A woody turnip that had stayed in the garden too long. I carved away the insect damage and used the remainder.
  • An onion that had sprouted. It couldn’t be stored for long.
  • A yellow carrot variety whose raw flavor we don’t like.

After Thanksgiving, all the vegetables for the Turkey Soup were fresh from the garden. The vegetables for today’s broth are from my root cellar. It is wonderful to be able to gather the all vegetables needed for a meal simply by going down to the basement and ducking into the root cellar.

There is nothing like a bowl of steaming turkey-vegetable soup to warm up a winter day.

December 30, 2011

Squash and Tomato Soup

Filed under: Gardening,Squash,Tomatoes,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 10:45 pm

This is a great winter-time soup – especially following a summer when the garden was prolific with both winter squash and tomatoes.

Squash Tomato Soup. I forgot to add the parsley during cooking.

1 tbsp. butter or olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (1 large or 2 medium)
1 cup chopped green or red pepper
1 large sprig parsley
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
2 cups tomatoes (1 pound  fresh/ 1 pint canned tomatoes)
4 cups cooked winter squash  (2 pounds)
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (use juices saved from cooking squash)
1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups milk

Melt butter or oil in a large (6 qt.) soup pot. Add onion, pepper, parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Cook until onion is translucent. Add tomatoes,  squash and broth. Cover and simmer 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Find & remove the bay leaf. Puree soup in a blender. Stir in salt, pepper and milk. Serve.

Blender: I use an immersion (‘stick’)  blender because it eliminates the need to move the hot soup to a blender bowl. If you use an immersion blender, use an extra deep pot to prevent the soup from splashing all over the kitchen while blending.

The ratio of squash and tomatoes can be changed according to taste: more tomatoes move the taste closer to tomato soup, more squash makes a mellower soup.

Squash: I’ve used butternut, Tetsukabuto, and most often Rumbo squash because it yields enough squash for 2-3 batches of soup.

That’s the basic recipe. Usually I make it without the milk, and freeze part. Before reheating  I stir in the milk, then microwave.

Add chopped left-over cooked turkey or shelled edamame soy beans to add protein and make a complete lunch.

How I really make this soup: Starting one day in advance, I cook a Rumbo squash from the cellar. On soup day, I grab the onions and home canned tomatoes from my basement root cellar. The chopped peppers and parsley come from the freezer.

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