Monthly Archives: October 2011

Two soups to make right now.


The garden and the farmer’s market are still loaded with lots of goodies.  I have two favorite recipes I like to make in October that use ingredients that are super fresh right now.

Celeriac, also known as celery root, has a flavor similar to celery but comes in root ball form rather than a stalk like celery.  It’s pretty ugly out of the garden, but so great in a fall soup.  And I’m happy to report it’s a cinch to grow.

This is what the celeriac looks like after I've significantly cleaned it, but not yet peeled it.

I first discovered celeriac in a CSA box a few years ago, wasn’t sure what to do with it at first.  It’s delicious in a slaw or roasted, but my favorite way is in a soup.  Google “celery root soup” and you’ll find a slew of simlar-ish recipes from the likes of Oprah to the folks at Joy of Kosher.  There are literally hundreds of great recipes at the push of a button.

I’m sharing an un-recipe… in other words, this is how I make it but I don’t really measure and sometimes I throw in other stuff.  But it’s a method that works and is always good.

Fall Celariac Soup  A Gracious Garden

In a pot, saute cubed celeriac (celery root) and diced onion in a bit of butter or olive oil.  When lightly cooked, add diced potato, diced green apple, a large container of chicken broth, and fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme or tarragon).  Bring to a boil, then set to simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through.  Using an immersion blender (or whatever blending device is available) blend soup in batches until smooth.  Return to pot, reheat and season with salt and pepper to taste.  A drizzle of olive oil and a few croutons make a great garnish to this bowl of fall flavor.

The second recipe I’m sharing is for a rich and creamy carrot soup that utilizes carrots, onions, potato and rosemary from the garden or farmer’s market.  I love this soup on a chilly fall day with some crusty bread.  Very comforting.  I’ve made it without the cream before and since the potato adds a starchy creaminess, it is also good that way.   Though I admit I prefer it with the cream, it’s just so delicious.

Creamy Carrot Soup  Taste of Home
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter or margarine
4 1/2 cups sliced carrots (1/4 inch thick)
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed (I use fresh rosemary)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a 5-qt. Dutch oven, saute onion in butter until tender.  Add carrots, potato, broth and ginger.  Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Cool 15 minutes.  Puree in small batches in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Return all to the saucepan; add cream, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Cook over low heat until heated through.  Yield: 6-8 servings (2 1/2 quarts)

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Colorful Eating


I documented many of the meals I made this year using ingredients from my garden on another blog called Photos from the Garden Table.  As you can see from the screen shot above, there was a lot of color on our plates!  It’s fun to look at it from this perspective.  If you click over to the blogger site you’ll be able to read what each item is and which garden ingredient was used.

Consequences…


It’s been a glorious year in the garden, but not a perfect one.  As October rolls on I’ve been busy removing plants from the garden and harvesting ripe veggies.  This time of year can be a lot of work.  I prefer to take it one day at a time and not try to get it all done in one fell swoop.

The preceding weeks have had their challenges–lots of rain, a hail storm, sickness and pregnancy–which have all contributed to a less than ambitious end to my garden this year.  When the rain and hail came down on a large tomato plant full of very ripe tomatoes, it sort of collapsed on itself and many tomatoes were crushed.  The leeks planted near the tomatoes were a victim of this week of rain too.

I removed tomatoes plants which revealed this patch of crushed leeks. Rain and several weeks of neglect are the cause!

Happily, I was able to save many tomatoes which are now ripening on my windowsill.  I’ve also harvested several peppers, and the eggplant continues to produce.  It’s planted in a warm spot in the yard and won’t realize it’s October until the frost officially comes to our area.  We are fortunate to be insulated by Lake Michigan and our frost comes a few weeks later than outlying areas.  A small benefit of living near the lake.

Personal health challenges and pregnancy fatigue have left me with little energy for the garden.  The garden has continued to be a solace during this time, but if I sit and look at it too long I’m reminded of all the work I need to get done but don’t feel up to doing–and I get a little stressed out.

The weather will be seasonal for the rest of the week, and I plan to get my garlic in the ground soon.  I was able to plant a raspberry cane from my in-laws in the spot that I removed a ground cherry plant from.  Hoping that does well next year.  In addition, I need to start planning a strategy for my strawberries and lemon tree.  Those items need to be protected from the elements.

So that’s where I’m at.  I’m praying that God will fully restore my health soon–my family really needs me.  And my garden needs me too.  And I’m thankful that most things in the garden can take a little neglect.  I appreciate that!

Here I've just watered in my raspberry plant. This was the only spot I could find for this, hoping it copes with being next to the house.