Monday, January 18, 2010

Harvest Monday - 18 January 2010

Even though I've been gone for almost half the week I did better about eating from my stores. Early in the week we had a stir fry. I defrosted some Komatsuna. I wasn't impressed with the defrosted texture. It became tough to chew. Not terribly, but enough to notice. The chard and spinach freeze better.

I had my ubiquitous winter coleslaw, with carrots and onions from the garden and stored cabbage from the farmers market.

Then I made minestrone soup which is mostly vegetables. I love minestrone soup. It tastes so good, but is so good for you. It can be made either vegetarian or with sausage like my son likes it.

Minestrone soup and freshly grilled bread

Daphne's Minestrone Soup

  • olive oil
  • 1-2c onions
  • 1 c celery
  • 1-2 cups carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 lb hot Italian turkey or pork sausage (totally optional if you want to go vegetarian)
  • 3 c tomato sauce
  • 1 qt broth (either chicken or veggie)
  • 1 1/2 c grated zucchini
  • 1 c green beans
  • 1 c cooked spinach chopped
  • 3 c cooked dried beans of whatever varieties you like
  • 1/2 c red wine (optional - I do this if there is a bottle already open)
  • T fresh basil or pesto
  • t dried oregano
  • T dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c dried pasta which has then been cooked
  • grated Parmesan cheese

First chop the onions and add them to the pan with olive oil.

I used the last of my stored onions. I didn't have quite enough, but I did have some leeks from the garden still, so I chopped them up too. I sauteed them until they started looking translucent.

I chopped up the last of the fresh garden carrots too. I still have some frozen, but if I want fresh I'll need to go to the supermarket. I added these and some store bought celery.

And some garlic from the garden. I still have tons of garlic. I think it is going to last the winter unless I start using it up more.

Once those are nice and sauteed down. I added the chicken broth, wine and the frozen tomato sauce made from my garden tomatoes. Canned tomato sauce looks so much prettier than the frozen stuff.

Then came the frozen veggies saved from the garden: green beans, zucchini, spinach (not pictured), and pesto (only olive oil and basil with nothing else added, I freeze it on a cookie sheet and break it into chunks). I added my beans. One cup was cranberry beans from the garden. The rest were local kidney beans and Jacob's cattle beans.

Then I seasoned it with oregano and parsley that I had dried from my garden. And added salt and pepper. I always cook the pasta separately so it won't get mushy. The soup recipe makes almost three quarts so I freeze it without the pasta and leave some in the fridge for lunches. As we eat it the pasta gets added along with the cheese. I once made the mistake of freezing the pasta and soup together. Ick!

Minestrone is a great soup to use up anything that needs using in the fridge. Cabbage or chard can be used instead of spinach if that is what you have.

If you would like to help me believe that harvests still exist, put your name and URL into Mr. Linky below. It doesn't matter how big or small your harvest is. If you have had a harvest this last week, show us and join in! Just a note. Last time quite a few people put links to all sorts of weird posts, but not the harvest post they wrote. Make sure you are putting the correct link into Mr. Linky. I can fix them if necessary, but would rather not.


  1. Your soup looks excellent. I made Minestrone once and it was just awful, not sure what I did to it. I will have to try out your recipe soon. Can't wait to have my own dried beans on hand, the season can't come soon enough! I am baking your apple cake in the next day or two. I hope I can make it as nice looking as yours.

  2. What a yummy sounding soup. I didn't manage to take advantage of the thaw this weekend to harvest anything.

  3. Today is definitely the perfect day for a hardy soup or stew. Just when you thought our snow was about to melt away, more comes. I guess that's the essence of winter in New England.

    I've never made minestone soup before. Yours looks very good.

  4. Wow that looks good. I have never made minestrone soup before either, but that looks so delicious I may try. I like that you can add different veggies depending upon what you like or availability.

  5. Hi Daphne, no harvests here, but I did love seeing your minestrone prep! The one thing we still have in storage is garlic. We cannot cook without it, and it is so easy to grow. Next year's crop is growing nicely, despite the frozen earth. Your photos reminded me that we have a freezer full of pesto that we need to eat. Thanks! We look forward to the sowing and growing for 2010. :-)

  6. Oh that looks fantastic. I'll be trying to make that soup soon.

  7. The coleslaw and the soup look delicious. It has become cold and wet here and soup has been just the thing. My latest soup had more homegrown than purchased ingredients, that makes me happy!

  8. I harvested more kale and carrots this week - but the pictures of it look just like the previous week's pictures - so I decided not to post them! LOL!

    Your minestrone looks delicious. I was just wondering what to make for dinner tonight, and I think minestrone soup sounds like a great idea! I am off to start my beans soaking so they will be ready later to make soup.

  9. I'm in for a small harvest this week. You also put me in the mood for a pot of soup, and I think a loaf of home made bread or some rolls would go well with it!

  10. Dan, I find the cake pretty easy to make. Which is good since I'm usually half asleep when I do it. I'm sure yours will come out great.

    Emily, sadly I was out of town for the thaw, or I would have rescued the kale from the garden. I was just waiting for a nice thaw. Now we have a sleet/snow storm on top of us burying everything again.

    Thomas, some winters it mostly rains and sleets (then freezes), but our weather patterns have been colder recently. We have had more snow than rain in the winter. Our snow cover seems to stick around more (though I do remember the early to mid 90s being very snowy too).

    GrafixMuse, it is kind of like stew. You can add just about anything to it that you have. It might not be traditional, but I've found that most things taste good with it.

    fairegarden, I have so much pesto in the freezer. I don't use it as a pasta topping as my husband doesn't like it. But it is great to add a fresh basil flavor to anything that calls for fresh basil in a recipe.

    kitsapFG, I usually do a big pot of beans when I run out of something. Then I freeze all the extra I didn't use. Right now I have three or four different kinds of beans frozen so I can make things really quickly. But then again I also have a lot of freezer space.

    Annie's Granny, I'm all for fresh bread. Yum.

  11. You need to start a cooking blog!


  12. Daphne -
    Thanks for the minestrone soup recipe - we are having the coldest and rainiest weather of the year here and that will be perfect to make for dinner! - mark

  13. I love minestrone and your recipe looks excellent ! Will try it for sure.

  14. That's a pretty soup tutorial! I felt like a genius last night when I opened two cans of tomatoes for our stew. It's the right food at the right time.

  15. Karen, lol I could just imagine myself with two blogs. I think I'd go crazy.

    mark, you're welcome

    miss m, thanks

    Stefaneener, I so love stew. I still have some in the freezer that I'm going to have to break out soon.

  16. I've seen lots of postings for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-up but I was wondering why no one had a Harvest Day. Now I find that you do!

    I grow mostly tree fruits and usually do a Harvest post about once a month. From now on, I'll coordinate with your Harvest Monday & post my fruit harvests on the first Monday of each month.