Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winter Sunshine

Mild, rainy weather followed by a sunny day is helping out my winter garden tremendously.

The bok choi seedlings I started 4 weeks ago were big enough to plant in the garden today.

My broccoli, now 8 weeks old, is starting to look like something.

And the peas I started 4 weeks ago have mostly all poked through the ground and are starting to leaf.

I hope this weather keeps up! We've had night time lows only down around 40, and day time temperatures in the 60's or so (except for today's sunshine which probably brought the garden up to the 70's).


Caught this little bird in my bird bath while I happened to have a camera on me.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Garden Bounty Minnestrone Soup

This delicious soup uses zucchini, pole beans and tomatoes from the garden that I'd prepped and frozen over the summer. In addition, I added freshly picked cabbage, parsley, oregano and chives from the fall crop.

1 large yellow onion diced
1 1/2 cups diced carrot
1 1/2 cups diced celery
3-4 crushed and minced garlic cloves
6 cups peeled and diced tomatoes with juice (previously frozen)
2-3 cups sliced zucchini with juice (previously frozen)
2-3 cups cut pole beans with juice (previously frozen)
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 can kidney beans drained
1 can cannellini beans drained
2 large cans (49 oz each) reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cubes chicken bullion
2-3 sprigs fresh oregano chopped
4-5 large sprigs fresh parsley chopped
2-3 sprigs fresh basil chopped
bunch chives chopped
1 1/2 cups small elbow macaroni
salt and pepper to taste

Sweat the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in olive oil in a large soup pot.  Put all remaining ingredients into the pot and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

This makes easily 12-16 servings.