Thursday, September 9, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Yesterday was a big garden day. Not only did we pick two pumpkins from our garden and lots of tomatoes, I also did a drive-by one of our local farm stands. I came home with apples, end-of-season-peaches, and spaghetti squash. I also had a call from a friend with a big corn picking happening next week. We hope to get together to freeze some.

I know for the people who do a lot of canning that this is just a busy time of year! I'm hoping to ease into canning bit by bit. Maybe I'll find some equipment on sale soon to prepare for next year.

Yesterday I roasted my pumpkins and made puree that went in the freezer. I also toasted the seeds for a fun snack. I'm thankful yesterday was a cooler day, so the oven and stove didn't make it too hot! A pot of tomato dill soup was also made. I just kind of threw things together, and it was pretty tasty. You have to be a dill lover to appreciate this, but here's a rough sketch:

1. A couple of diced onions and garlic cloves - saute them in olive oil until pretty soft. I start adding salt and pepper with each step.

2. Add about 5 cups of chicken broth. Some recipes use vegetable stock. I like to have broth stocked in the freezer. I can usually make a couple of packages when I boil a whole chicken. I just add some veggies and salt and pepper to the water, and the broth is flavorful.

3. Dump in about 12 medium to large tomatoes that have been peeled, cored, and rough chopped. Dipping the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute really loosens the peel; it slides right off!

4. Add a tablespoon of chopped dill. I used fresh, but dried would be awesome. Salt and pepper go in again here.

5. Stir and simmer for a few hours to cook down the tomatoes (you can be very flexible here with time). I actually stuck my cheapy immersion blender in at the end of cooking time to chop everything smooth (note to self - buy a better immersion blender soon, you just melted your cheap one).

6. Taste at this point and decide if you need more dill, salt, and pepper.

7. Add about a cup of heavy cream! This is my favorite step. Make sure you don't let this bubble, for the cream will curdle. Serve hot from the stove or refrigerate for another time.

Notes: I think carrots would work well in this. Other spices could be substituted for the dill. In the future I might add a little chicken bouillion (sp?) to boost the flavor a little more. We enjoyed this soup with grilled cheese sandwiches last night!

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