Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Oh, Foo

German Orange Tomatoes for sandwiches

Perhaps Facebook isn't the greatest source of weather information. I just saw a map on a farm page that suggested that early frost might soon occur, damaging corn and soybean crops across the nation's bread basket.

Oh, yay. We have had such an indifferent summer, nothing ripening, poor drying weather, lots of bah humbug going on.

Now, we are finally getting some warmer days, resulting in lots of tomatoes. If the weather holds good and we don't get hit with late blight, we should be able to make a goodly amount of a sort of soup-base, tomato saucy stuff we tried out last year.

I am not sure I remember the exact process, but we cooked the maters with herbs and seasonings, just a little bit, tossed them in the food processor to render them juicy, and froze the result for winter.

Added to my usual soup or spaghetti sauce they imparted a fresh, summery taste that was unbeatable. I am hoping we can make a lot.

Speaking of soup. I love soup in the winter!

My favorite is a version of my vegetable beef standby, which uses sweet Italian sausage in place of beef. You could use hot if your taste buds will stand it.

Start out by sauteing some sausage links with onions and garlic and fresh herbs if you have them. I use whatever is on hand, fresh basil, wild oregano, marjoram, even some of the milder mints, such as orange mint.

When the links are soft, I cut them into little disks with kitchen shears. A little meat goes a lot farther that way and the flavor gets into the broth better. 

Then I put in whatever vegetables I have. Literally. Beets are about the only thing I leave out and then only because I don't want purple soup.

Last weekend I put in green beans, Romano beans, patty pan squash, zucchini, carrots, potatoes, parsley,tomaotes, shell beans from Romanos that got too mature, and one big old kohlrabi that I grew for Becky because she thought they looked cool.You could also add corn, shredded cabbage, or any number of other favorites. Broccoli and cauliflower are perfect.

At the same time I usually toss in a can of whatever tomato product I have on hand, such as diced, crushed, or sauce and some water, enough to fill your pot. This time, I had a quarter jar of spaghetti sauce left over so I added water to that and dumped it in.

I season the whole shooting match with Italian seasoning, more garlic, some grated Parmesan cheese, a teaspoon of sugar (takes the bite and bitterness out of the tomatoes) and whatever else comes to hand. Then I cook it all slowly on the stove top for a while, until everything is nice and tender. Or cover it and stick it in the oven at 325 for a while. (Then I can go to the barn and not have to stir it for an hour or so.)

If I don't have potatoes I throw in a handful of uncooked pasta or rice toward the end of the process.

It is never exactly the same twice, but it is always good. We wiped out a five-quart pot in two suppers, with grilled cheese sandwiches on the side the second night.


Ruth said...

I've got a predicted low of 42 coming next week. Which means that some of my surrounding areas are gonna be awefully close to getting a frost......

Oh, and Calgary got snow yesterday!

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

You're making me hungry, those types of "recipes" are the best!

That's one coy carrot :)

June said...

That's my kind of cooking!

Uta said...

Amen to that. I love to cook like that as well and all the vegetables get used up.

Terry and Linda said...

That's my kind of cooking! Then the kids ask for the recipe...and, of course I don't know it!


threecollie said...

Ruth, pretty scary! we have so much garden left to ripen and harvest.

Nita, love stuff made from what we grow. And coy is exactly the word that came to my mind too when that came out of the ground. lol

June, love homegrown and homemade!

Uta, getting our kids to eat vegetables was rarely a problem. lol

Linda, I fly by the seat of my pants when cooking. if something is totally unfamiliar I might actually follow the recipe...once....after that it's every ingredient for itself. lol