Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Butternut squash soup

Harvest-directed meals 

I've been growing crops here in Florida for about 10 years now. Over that time, the food expenditures have been reduced by15% to feed my husband and myself. It's not just that we don't have to buy so much, but also because harvest-directed meals have changed how we cook. Yesterday, for instance, I created a lovely squash soup. I did buy the squash because my supply ran out a couple of months ago and I also bought the onions, but most of the other ingredients were freshly harvested.

Butternut Squash Soup

Soup harvest: garlic chives, assorted carrots & white radishes, 3 cabbage leaves, meadow garlic, rosemary, curly parsley, and Greek oregano. Note on the cabbage leaves: I have about a dozen cabbage plants that are growing well, but none have developed a head ready for harvesting yet, so I've been picking leaves from one chosen cabbage that I'll sacrifice for for cabbage now instead of a head later.
This is a vegetarian recipe, which starts with making the olive oil-based vegetable stock.
Brown onions, celery, garlic, garlic chives,barley, carrots, & radishes in olive oil until onions become translucent.
1/4 c olive oil
1/3 c of dried barley
1/2 c celery
2 quartered onions
1 tbsp chopped garlic
Harvested vegetables including some root crops chopped into manageable pieces
1 large butternut squash precooked (split half lengthwise and turned cut side down in water in microwave or oven until easily scooped out.)
8 c water
1 c plain yogurt
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Chopped fresh dill and more yogurt and cheese for topping.

Heat oil in soup pan and add the next four ingredients. Cook over medium high heat and stir often to heat all the ingredients evenly until the onions shrink and turn translucent. The carrots and other root crops will not have cooked through at this point. Add water and squash. Bring to a boil and simmer for half an hour or until the carrots are soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a bit.
Scoop the soup into a food processor or blender in small batches and pour in a storage bowl. Mix in the yogurt, pepper and cheese.

I served it with a dollop of yogurt, fresh dill chopped, and more grated Parmesan cheese.

Served with a dollop of yogurt, fresh dill, grated Parmesan cheese, and wheat thins.

Harvested salad

The night before, here's the salad harvest: white radish, come-again celery, garlic chives, 1 cabbage leaf, parsley, rosemary, Greek oregano, dill, and assorted lettuces.
The night before the soup, fixed a harvest-based salad. What is not shown in the photo was a previously harvested purple carrot. I grated the carrot and 1/2 of the radish and actually only used about half of the lettuce. I also added some finely chopped onion, 1/2 a cucumber and 2 types of grated cheese from the store. It was topped with grilled and flaked kingfish from a neighbor. I share some of my harvests with his family. We dressed the salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and freshly ground pepper. Also yummy.

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Green gardening matters,
Ginny Stibolt

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