22 August 2006

Garden Raid

My dad has a garden. It's a wondrous place with little discoveries tucked amid vines and hidden among leaves.

One evening I raided its bounty to make soup. My vegetable soup is an improvised creation that changes every time I make it, depending on what's in the fridge and pantry—or in this case, what was ready for picking in the patch.

The recipe lists the contents of the pot and documents what I was doing in the kitchen one night, one week ago. It's a guide to making soup, but not necessarily instructions to follow again. Although the result was very tasty—everyone at dinner agreed—I can't duplicate it, nor would I always want to.

Each pot of soup is unique and an adventure at the stove. It's about giving yourself the freedom to create in the kitchen—and in life, for that matter, too.

"Kitchen Sink" Garden Vegetable Soup

1 large yellow squash, cut into bite-size cubes
2 large crookneck squash, cut into bite-size cubes
2 large zucchini, cut into bite-size cubes
3 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut from the cobs
2 red tomatoes cut into quarters and then halves
2 yellow tomatoes cut into quarters and then halves
1 handful of string beans (I grabbed 8 to 10.)
8 shallots, diced (I was using them in place of onions.)
3 heads of garlic (They were tiny heads probably equal to 1/2 a head of a large clove.)
2 bundles of fresh herbs (My bundles included sprigs of rosemary, oregano, thyme, and marjoram)
2 cans of vegetable stock
2 cubes of vegetable bouillon
6 cups of water
1 can of garbanzo beans
1 generous pour of olive oil to coat the pot
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat a large pot with olive oil. Add shallots and garlic, sauté. Add vegetables and continue to sauté until they soften. Salt and pepper to taste, but know the stock and bouillon also contains sodium. Pour in stock and water and thrown in the bouillon. Add the beans and herbs. Bring everything to a boil and continue to boil until the flavors come together and the kitchen smells great! Serve hot in large bowls and garnish with garlic basil pesto—my ad-lib recipe is below. And I like eating the soup with good, crusty bread.

Garlic Basil Pesto

1 bunch of fresh basil
1/2 a head of garlic (I used 1 small head of garlic.)
Extra virgin oil to emulsify
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Throw everything into the food processor and pulse to a coarse consistency. (I loss control of the processor, so mine came out more purée-like.)


Blogger Jasmine said...

What a lovely collection of garden piccies! You are very lucky to have a such a plot in the family :)


8/23/2006 8:27 PM  
Blogger Blue Plate said...

thanks. it is a treat, since i, myself, don't have a green thumb.

b p

8/24/2006 9:19 AM  

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