Making Summer Last with Soups
Here at Sweet Judy Blues, the temperature has dropped and you can feel fall coming. Another sign that summer’s almost over? The harvest from our garden has trailed off. It’s sad to see the season end, but we’ve had an awesome summer and our garden has given us so many delicious vegetables. Throughout the past few months, we’ve had a bounty of tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, arugula, spinach, lettuce, red and orange peppers, jalapeños, eggplant, yellow squash, butternut squash, radishes, basil, cilantro, and parsley.
When a crop is ready to harvest, you usually end up with a lot of it all at once. It’s amazing to have that payoff after you’ve been tending it for weeks or months, but when you’re only growing it for your family, it can also be overwhelming. The pressure is on to use it all up before anything goes bad. You can get pretty creative with different ways you can use whatever you’ve got. But realistically, does anyone want to eat zucchini for every meal for a week straight?
We wanted to bring our summer harvest into the winter, when we’ll be sun-starved and dreaming about the days when we could pluck fresh veggies straight from the garden. So we’ve pickled cucumbers, radishes, and jalapeños, and made a few big batches of soup that we’ve frozen in individual portions. I’ve linked to the recipes we started with, but we altered them and also tripled or quadrupled them all since we had so many veggies to use up.
I love the “green” flavor of this one! But after we blended it, we felt like it lacked body. We added quinoa to give it texture and protein.
We left out the potato and ramped up the spices, and ended up with a creamy soup with a kick.
Instead of roasting the tomatoes at a high temperature for 20-30 minutes like it says in this recipe, we slow-roasted them at 250 degrees for about four hours. Maybe this kept more moisture inside, because we had to simmer the soup longer for it to reduce enough to have that tomato soup thickness. It took longer, but we think it improved the flavor.
Hope your summer has been fun and fruitful. Here’s to a break from the heat and a new season!