I regularly whip together some version of homemade cream of vegetable soup, but when I put together this creamy broccoli cheese soup with a hint of bacon, my husband and the boys said it was one of the best I've ever made. What's the “surprise” ingredient? I raided the pantry for some dehydrated summer squash to use as an extra thickening agent. Eureka moment! It's a great use for an abundant veggie, and adds a little more vegetable punch to the recipe, which is never a bad thing.
When broccoli is coming in fast and furious from the garden, I enjoy whipping up a batch of homemade broccoli soup. This recipe easy to make, and it includes other fresh garden veggies. We like having visible veggies in our soup, but if you want a smooth soup, feel free to puree it in a blender. Just be careful not to overload and splash yourself if you puree it while it's hot.
Did you know you can make wine out of just about any fruit or vegetable with a fairly high sugar content – even pumpkin wine? One of my foraging mentors, the late Mike Jacisin, was willing to experiment with cooking and fermenting just about anything. One year he was blessed with an abundance of onions, so he made a batch of onion wine. Alas, said onion wine went down in infamy as the worst brew he ever concocted, and has become a running joke in our extended circle of family and friends.
This year we've been blessed with such an abundance of sweet onions that I'm seriously considering a small batch of the infamous brew, since I missed out on tasting the original, but thus far my husband has vetoed the idea. 🙂 Since he won't let me ferment onions, I'd like to share how to make pumpkin wine. Like Mike, I'm willing to bulk up my food and beverage storage with a wide variety of foodstuffs, and it's fun to break out a bottle of an unusual brew for friends. I am not a big wine drinker, but I love the rich, yeasty smell in my kitchen as the wine ferments. Wine is pretty forgiving, too. I've made batches that are better or worse, but nothing completely skunky like some of my beer brewing friends have encountered.
We buy maple syrup in bulk from a local maple syrup producer, so I enjoy trying out new maple syrup recipes. These maple leaf cookies are a maple twist on traditional sugar cookies. They start with making a butter and sugar blend that reminds me of the caramel sauce from my mom's favorite cinnamon roll recipe, and add a dash of spice and light maple glaze for a simple but tasty cookie.
My friend, Eric, messaged me this week asking how to cook pumpkin for pumpkin pie, so I decided to put together a quick guide for everyone tackling pumpkin cooking for the first time. Sure, it's easy to pop open a can of pumpkin from the store, but cooking pumpkin is also pretty darn easy. Like most fruits and veggies, fresh tastes better! We'll cover how to cook pumpkin in the oven, on the stove and in the microwave. Pumpkin and most other winter squash can be used interchangeably in recipes, so the techniques covered here work for both.