Saturday, September 27, 2014

End of harvet tomato Recipe: Heirloom Cream of Tomato Soup #GardenCuizine

 ~Low Sodium~
Cream of Tomato Soup

This time of year tomatoes spoil quick and can end up in the refrigerator or worse yet, in the compost heap. Soup is a quick and easy way to cook up and use your own, or locally grown, tomatoes when the harvest just keeps on coming!

We've had so many heirloom Jersey tomatoes this year and have eaten tomatoes in every imaginable way including our 'ol standbys of canning salsa and pasta sauce. I decided to make a batch of Cream of Tomato soup to freeze for us to enjoy later in cooler weather. I used evaporated milk versus heavy cream to add flavor and nutrition without the excess calories and saturated fat. 

Cooking tips: Amazing and true - No need to add salt! There is so much flavor in heirloom tomatoes, plus using a little hot pepper and the natural sodium in the added milk and onion really makes the soup delicious without adding any salt. Of course you can add salt as desired. I didn't add any.

No need to remove the tomato skins. The skins will be removed when the soup is strained after cooking. So you could use up extra cherry tomatoes easily as well. 

Also, adding carrots and using yellow heirloom tomatoes will make the soup orange in color. To deepen color shade to more red - simply stir in a little tomato paste. I left ours orange. 

Yields: 2720g or about 12, 8-ounce servings 
10 cups chopped heirloom tomatoes (they don't have to be heirlooms; we just happen to grow mostly heirloom)
2 1/2 - 3 cups chopped onion (1 large onion)
3 cups chopped carrots (or 2 cups chopped carrots and 1 cup chopped celery. We didn't use celery because we didn't have any at the time.)
1/2 hot pepper (we used Scotch Bonnet)
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 dried bay leaves
fresh ground black pepper
2, 12-ounce cans evaporated milk

Tomato paste - optional

Putting it all together
  • Wash and chop all veggies. 
  • In a large soup stock pot over medium high heat, add olive oil and saute carrots and onions until soft. 
  • Stir in garlic, hot pepper and herbs. 
  • Add a few twists of fresh ground black pepper. 
  • Stir in tomatoes, bring to simmer. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until soft.
  • Stir in milk towards end of cooking time. Simmer to blend flavors.
  • Remove bay leaves.
  • Puree (we use a hand held blender). Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  • Strain into storage containers leaving head space if freezing.
Buon Appetito!

GardenCuizine Nutrition Data Cream of Tomato Soup
Excellent Source: Vitamin A, Vitamin C 
Good Source: Protein, Calcium, Manganese, Folate, Riboflavin

8 ounce serving: 113 calories; protein: 5.8g (12% DV); total fat: 5g; sodium: 117mg (4.8% DV); dietary fiber: 2g; total carbohydrates: 14g; protein: 5.8g (12% DV); vitamin A: 2,402 IU (48% DV); vitamin C: 30.3mg (51% DV); calcium 165mg (16% DV); iron (5% DV); manganese 0.2mg (10% DV); folate 50.4mcg (13% DV); riboflavin 0.2mg (14% DV); phytosterols: ~10.4mg
Recipe and blog post Copyright (C)2014 Wind. All rights reserved. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Thank You @davesgardenteam members! #GardenCuizine

Contest picture by wind 
Thank You
Dave's Garden members!
Proud to be among photography winners in several categories at Dave's Gardens County Fair 2014! Winning two first places this year, which is a first for me. I've never won with my photo entries before.The voters liked our kitty - sweet Snoops - snoozing atop a tapestry pillow 'home sweet home' as first place "Domesticated Pet" 

Another first was for favorite "Arts and Crafts" for my Mosaic Watering Can, which by the way, is still in the works. I really need to finish that project.
Harry's annual Birthday Cherry Pie won second place for favorite "Homemade Sweet Treats" The charm must have been the edible garnish of shiso perilla, mint and anise hyssop.

Pictures from our bountiful harvest of organic grapes for grape jelly won second and third places for "Favorite Fresh Fruit" 

Runner up mentions were in favorite "Fresh Vegetables" for some heirloom tomato shots  And, we truly did have a bumper crop of heirloom tomatoes this year and they still are still producing. 

Growing your own fruits and vegetables is truly a rewarding and fun experience. I encourage you to give it a try.
Happy and Healthy Gardening! 
Stay tuned for more GardenCuizine recipes, photos and videos

Monday, September 1, 2014

Today's Labor Day Harvest: Heirloom Veggies Galore! #GardenCuizine

Heirloom Veggies Galore
Today's Labor Day Harvest

Labor Day weekend is a good time to preserve fresh vegetables. Today in our garden we have dahlias almost ready to bloom, basil going to seed (already froze lots of pesto), more potatoes waiting to be dug, and kale and herbs for picking. Today's harvest included a few colanders full of Turkish eggplant, garlic chives, hot peppers, and lots of juicy, Jersey, organically grown, heirloom tomatoes. We have to use the tomatoes up asap since they spoil fairly quickly and fruit flies are hanging out. Any ideas?

So far we've enjoyed tomatoes on sandwiches, salads, in omelets and combined with chopped peaches in salsa that tastes great with grilled chicken, fish or pork. If you're like us, when you grow your own veggies, especially tomatoes, you may find that you can't eat them fast enough! Canning and preserving recipes come in handy.

Rather than pasta sauce, salsa, or preserving tomatoes whole or chopped, I'm thinking of making soup. Homemade cream of tomato soup should be delicious and freeze well. And, it will be nice to have a nutritious taste of the garden during the fall and winter.

Happy Labor Day!
Blog post Copyright (C)2014 Wind. All rights reserved.