Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Got Veggies...You've got SOUP!

Hello from Red Gate Farm!
We are into week 7 of our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) season.  We have 11 more weeks to go and I'm already a little sick of sautéed vegetables in olive oil.  I am also pretty tired of grilling and roasting.  
My counter is lined with squash, zucchini, onions and tomatoes and a few small ears of corn.  I am ready to claim my counter back and use up these beautiful fresh veggies before they go to waste.  Even though it is close to 90 degrees here today, I am CRAVING vegetable soup. 
I know how hard we work to produce and harvest our vegetables.  I've been wanting to write a post that is a look into a "day in the life" of a vegetable farmer.  I swear if you could just live that day through my words, you would never want to waste anything simply out of respect for the work it takes to get it to your table.  I really have great anxiety over throwing away a week old squash or even an ugly tomato that may have a few bad spots.  It just seems like an incredible waste.  If it's on my counter, it's in the pot!
I like making soups for a variety of reasons.  One of my favorites is vegetable soup, primarily because it is very forgiving if you are not a seasoned cook.  I don't really worry about getting ingredients right or making sure I've measured out vegetables/spices properly.  I go with what TASTES right.  Like the RONCO commercials, "you can set it and forget it"!  Soup is better when left to simmer all day.  It is like fine wine, it gets better with age. I guess another big reason I'm a fan of soup is because you can make a pot large enough to last a few days. My husband is not picky and will eat left overs for days.  God love him! 
I typically pair my soup with a grilled pimento cheese sandwich.  Oh BABY, you have not lived until you've tried one of these!  It's super easy to make.  I am not a recipe follower so you'll have to rely on the ole taste buds to guide you.  Here are the ingredients:
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Crumbled Bacon
1/4 tsp of sugar
Pimentos (drained and diced)
Scant amount of onion (optional, sometimes I do...sometimes I don't)
Scant amount of salt
If you find yourself in a pickle to use up aging veggies or are just looking for an alternative to roasted/sautéed veggies....RED GATE GAL is here to SAVE the day!  I'm listing out ingredients, not a recipe so to speak for vegetable soup.  Really...this is how I made my soup today.  Get a little creative and just let your taste buds do the cooking.  I'd love to hear how your soup adventure turns out! 
Squash cut into small cubes
Zucchini cut into small cubes
Onion (2 small)
Corn (I just cut kernels off a few small ears that I had)
Potatoes (used red and yellow, cut in small cubes)
Tomatoes (I peeled 6 medium and cut in various size pcs.)
Okra (you can use frozen or fresh)
1 large clove of garlic
2 small cans of tomato paste
1 small can of tomato sauce
3-4 cups of water
1/4 cup of granulated chicken bullion (beef would be better), I used this b/c I did not have broth.  I usually use broth.
Sea Salt
Cracked Black Pepper
Dried or Fresh Parsley (I used dried b/c I had already picked in the garden once today and I was LAZY)
I melted my butter in the pan, sautéed my veggies for 10 minutes, added everything else and brought to a boil.  Then I turned the stove down to simmer and I'll leave it to cook for about 4 hours.  The soup is fine to eat as soon as the vegetables are tender.  ENJOY!

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