Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Winter Gardening

I fixed some favorite winter foods for dinner last night. Grandma's Pumpkin soup, bread and a Winter salad. The soup recipe came from Jackie Clay of Backwoods Home magazine. My pumpkin/winter squash harvest has always been good here, but I've never loved a pumpkin soup recipe before this one. The soups were edible, but left me wishing I'd made pie instead. This one's wonderful, and pretty to boot. We had dinner guests not long ago, one of whom didn't care for pumpkin soup. Well, um, he asked for seconds. The Winter salad was the creation of my ex-husband, and it's a keeper. Lots of zesty flavors, which is sometimes just what I need in the depths of winter. I grow a blend of greens in my cold frame through the winter. In these parts, they call it Grandpa's salad mix. It's a blend of a dozen or so winter greens; several mustards, kales, rape/canola... I get it at the local feed & seed, and ask them to blend mine a little heavier on the kales. Oh, I almost forgot. I also made the Buttermilk Apple Cake posted by Rhonda on down-to-earth . We're feeling pretty fat and happy! If you haven't entered the giveaway, go here.

Grandma's Pumpkin Soup

2 tbs vegetable oil
1 minced onion
1 minced sweet pepper (I used frozen from last year's garden)
3 cloves crushed garlic
2 c cooked, pureed pumpkin
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 c stock
1 c cream (more or less to suit you)
salt & pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat oil & saute vegetables until soft. Add pumpkin & spices, and saute until aroma is released from curry & cumin. Add stock & cream. Heat through. Double for company.

There really isn't a recipe for Winter salad, & it's a little different everytime, but always good. You'll need:

a large bunch of winter greens
the best olive oil you've got 
feta cheese
oil-cured olives (we've been using black Provencal herb from the local coop instead recently)
lots of garlic, pressed or minced finely (maybe 6 cloves,or to your taste)

Wash & tear greens into bite sized pieces & drizzle with some olive oil to moisten (it helps things mix better). Mix olive oil, feta (break into small pieces if needed)and garlic in small bowl.
Pour over greens & mix well. Throw in a good handful or two of olives & mix. Tastes best if allowed to sit a bit, allowing the greens to wilt a little.


cookingwithgas said...

That green salad looks so good!
I would eat anything green right now.
And that soup- I know who asked for more and he is right it is the best pumpkin soup ever!

Victoria said...

Super-lovely post I love pumpkin soup too..and it is always nice to try another's recipe..yay! Beautiful photos!

Diane said...

I am surely going to try the soup recipe. I love the picture, so refreshing as we are getting soooo much snow up here near Binghamton, NY right now. Salads are so good for me and such good cancer fighters as well, according to Dr. Oz's show today. I am so glad your biggest fan turned me on to your blog!

Debdeb said...

What a delish looking salad!