Monday, September 5, 2011

Garden Fresh Vegetable Soup


Garden Fresh Vegetable Soup

These are just some of the gorgeous vegetables with which two families from church blessed us this past Sunday, yesterday. I got everything from zucchini to two different kinds of potatoes to two different kinds of onions. Decided to make a hearty soup out of everything except one of the vegetables. I also had a some cooked beans, the beans of which also were home grown by a friend's mom.

These vegetables need to be enjoyed, before this very pregnant mommy decides that energy is non-existent and is rendered incapable of doing anything in the kitchen.


In a pan with a bit of olive oil on lower medium heat, I cooked the onions. Once the onions were almost done, I dropped in the potatoes, cut into little chunks or squares, along with some water. Cook the potatoes until done.

Throw all the other vegetables, peeled (where ever appropriate or desired - carrots, cucumbers, etc.) and cut, into a pot. I used water exclusively as the broth. Once the vegetables have been cooking, they form a rich flavored, mouthwatering broth. The spices and flavoring I used for the soup included:
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black peppercorns
  • a few hints of cinnamon
  • some Hungarian paprika
  • a bit of soy sauce (just a bit)
  • a few drizzles of Worcestershire sauce
I dropped the cooked beans my friend gave me after everything else was tender. I'm not sure what all went into cooking those beans. Some bacon, I believe, was dropped into cooking them; so, the soup cannot qualify as vegetarian.

Cook the soup for awhile to allow the various flavors to spread. Then it's ready to serve. I enjoy my soups with rice, over rice.

Pesto, perfectly thick pesto sauce


Pesto, perfectly thick pesto sauce

I hadn't planned on my recipe blogging hiatus to be the norm but more of an exception. However, this pregnancy with twins had thrown my love affair with food off course into to the uncharted territory of picky, easily offended senses. Pesto is a more recent love or desire, and I hadn't attempted making my own until quite recently. This is my third attempt at tweaking with various ingredients, and I am pretty satisfied with this rendition.

The results were thick, and the version I made was on the salty side. However, this pesto, for my intent, wasn't and isn't meant to be eaten along. I've served it atop plain pasta and I have also used it on cheese pizza (along with fresh olives and freshly grated muenster cheese).

Here's my recipe to share:

In a blender, blend the following:
  • 4 oz of basil
  • 2 cups of freshly grated parmesan (I purchased a chunk of parmesan and grated it using a hand grater)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 c. of pine nuts
  • 26 peppercorns (I used a pepper mill to grind the peppercorns)
  • 2/3 c. olive oil
  • sea salt (I don't know exactly how much I used)
Once blended evenly and well, empty blender contents into sauce pan, along with 1/3 - 2/3 c. organic chicken broth and 1/3 c. whole milk. On low to low-medium heat, bring to a gentle boil, and the work is done. Use the pesto sauce in whatever way is pleasing to you.

After eating it once over pasta, my pregnancy pickiness wanted something different. Having it on a cheese pizza, along with fresh, pitted calamata olives and freshly grated muenster cheese was tasty as well. What is your pleasure?