Roasted Veggie and Bosc Pear Soup
Since this soup was made from organic produce, and would be pureed, I left all unblemished peels intact-- on the squash, carrots , peppers , and pears when I chunked the veggies for roasting.
All chunked materials went into a large, oiled roasting pan.I added water to cover the bottom, covered it tightly with foil, and started roasting at
400 F. This treatment is usually not necessary in the fall, when the veggies are higher in moisture , or when using a more watery squash.
When there was a good steam created . I removed the foil and reduced the heat.Bake until carrots are fork tender.
All edible trimmings were tossed into the stock pot for broth.
Now, the broth...
The tough outer onion peels and stringy or bumpy bits of squash all found their way into the stock pot.The stems/yellowing bits from parsley, dill, green onions, thyme, as well as the mushroom trimmings (for the future sandwiches) were next in. A quick sweep of my produce stash yielded wilting celery, a few soggy tomatoes, some sprouting onions,an elderly parsnip, (and look) a dessicated head of garlic! All in. Salvaged chunks of apple and pear soon followed... and the jar of reserved "potato water"...before I even remembered my ongoing collection of organic raw veggie trimmings awaiting this moment in the freezer.
Big pot, good thing.Cover it all with water.Let it simmer all day as you prep, adding as you go... just keep in mind this will be a sweet and spicy soup, and do not add much in the way of brassicas here. (This is the time to rinse out your almost empty mustard and chutney jars! )
When you are ready to assemble the soup, strain the broth. You may have a good amount. Freeze left overs.
1 kabocha squash, approximately 4 lbs/4-5 cups prepped in chunks
3-4 sweet red peppers--fresh, frozen, roasted or canned (I used all 4!)
3 carrots, various colors,chopped in chunks
1-2 onions /at least one 1 cup, prepped ( I got mine at Country Thyme)
1-2 Bosc pears/apples, fresh, frozen or a lesser amount of pear butter (Apple Lady--For 6 batches, I used 1 cup pear butter + 2 cups canned pears--those squash were so sweet, they needed little else!)
2-3 tbsp oil or butter
3/4 cup dry red split lentils or 2 cups, "sloppy" cooked
4-6 cups Veggie broth ( I made my own)
I cup apple juice, optional (Apple Lady)
Sea salt, spice and herbs to taste.Start with less, see what you think... Try, but don't limit yourself to:
Fresh Thyme-crushed a bit, 1-2 tsp
Grated fresh ginger (keep frozen and grate as needed) 2 tbsp
Shan brand Chana Masala Mix (Superstore) approx 1 tbsp
Nutritional yeast (Calgary Co-op, health food section) 2 tbsp
Mustard seed, 2 tsp
Gluten free tamari sauce (Community) 2 tsp
Turmeric powder (Shamm's kitchen) 2 tsp
Cumin (Light Cellar) 2 tsp
Arriba Sansel and Garam Masala (Epicure/Parkdale Farmer's Market) 2 tsp each
Shake or pinch... savoury, celery seed, cayenne, cinnamon
(I purchased both cream and cheese to enrich this soup.We used neither one.
The veggies stood alone. Try a sprinkle of feta, chopped parsley or sunflower shoots as a garnish, or pass cream at the table.Vast amounts of grated cheese can vanish in this soup.Remember this during blizzard season.It will get you through anything.)
Assembly goes quickly.
Puree cooked red lentils, roasted veggies/fruit, veggie broth and apple juice, if needed.
Do in small batches--an immersion blender works well.
Season to taste.
Our soup could have been much thinner, but all our pots were full!
(If you have veggie broth in the freezer--or use premade, you can skip the roasting/simmering processes, put everything in a crock pot, raw, and later, use the immersion blender in that pot, if it is big enough.This is the quick version.Still very good)
We served this with cooked Manitoba wild rice for a hearty, gluten free dish, "locally" sourced .
Mushrooms on Toast--another way
This is a way to serve 1 lb of cheese in 50 portions.Everything in this filling was organic and it matters. Thanks to Springbank Cheese in Marda Loop for a reduced price on the cheese!
1 lb chilled, smoked gouda or white cheddar, grated ( I used Sylvan Star Smoked Gouda)
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp dairy butter
1 lb cremini mushrooms, diced
2 portobello mushrooms, diced
1/4 of a large bunch of thyme, leaves stripped from stems, chop leaves a bit
1 pint jar of fermented sauerkraut, drained (reserve liquid),chopped, chilled (Light Cellar-- ours was bright yellow with turmeric and mildly curried)
1 bunch green onions , thinly sliced, then chopped a bit, use all the green you can
1/2 of a large bunch of dill, thinly sliced, then chopped a bit, use all tender stems
1/2 of a large bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped,use all tender stems
1/2 head of garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp ketchup (optional)
1-2 tsp gluten free tamari
sea salt and white pepper to taste
1. Roast the mushrooms: heat oven to 350,melt butter in an oven proof dish.add diced mushrooms, thyme and the reserved sauerkraut juice.Cover with foil.When steaming, remove foil or lid and stir.Return to oven, uncovered,stirring occasionally, until juices are almost evaporated.Cool.
2. Grate chilled cheese and toss with oil.This keeps it from clumping and helps it spread out later. Add chopped, chilled sauerkraut, toss. Add chopped herbs, toss again. Add cooled, roasted mushrooms (Scrape that pan with a spatula !).Toss again.
3.Add seasonings, salt to taste, toss again.
4.Make a piece of toast, cover with mixture and grill.This is your taste test. Eat. Then, adjust seasonings .This is where I added ketchup.
5.Chill mixture, covered, until ready to serve.
( You will have more than you expected. You can freeze some for a later time.)
The short version is to buy some good quality rye bread, toast it, and then spread the mushroom mixture, fairly thinly, over the top, and broil. We made it really flavorful so we could use a moderate layer-- if it is too thick, it is difficult to eat in public.
We served our toasts with pickled carrot sticks and hot banana peppers, generously donated by Leaf and Lyre, Thank you!
If you want to bake bread...it is worth it.I made 2 kinds.
Pumpernickel Bread....dense and slightly sour. Again, buy organic and local!
1 1/2 cups cooked potatoes, left over mashed potatoes are fine
3 1/2 cups potato or plain water
3 tbsp yeast
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp molasses
2 1/2 cups rye flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (Country Thyme)
1 1/2--2 cups unbleached flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten (Country Thyme )
2 tbsp gluten flour, optional
1/4 cup whole grain bread crumbs, lightly toasted
1 tbsp carob or cocoa powder, dissolved in 1 tbsp water (for deeper color, optional)
1 tbsp caraway seeds (Light Cellar)
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup unprocessed bran
extra cornmeal for pans
Molasses and salt wash
1. Prove your yeast! Put 1/2 cup warm water in a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over top. If it gets bubbly and foamy, you have active yeast.Go ahead with your recipe.
2. Mix the initial dough.I start with cold mashed potatoes so I put then in a container with the 3 cups water, butter, and molasses and heat them up.Then I blend them with an immersion blender.until smooth.(You can also cook potatoes in the water , or use instant mashed potatoes...just keep your proportions in mind).
3.Transfer the potato slurry to a bowl big enough to mix your bread.I use a standing mixer.When the potato slurry is on the warm side of lukewarm, add the bubbly yeast and about half of each flour. Combine everything on a slow speed, and then beat hard for 3-5 minutes or until bubbles form.
4.Start adding the other ingredients, alternating with bits of flour.Blend well and gradually add the remaining flours to make a stiff dough. At some point, you will abandon the mixer and turn out onto a floured surface or bigger bowl for kneading.
Rye doughs are sticky and will encourage you to add too much flour.One way to elude a stiff dough is to go slow. After your dough is mixed, but still sticky, put it in a very cool place to rise over night. I coat the surface with oil and cover the dough to avoid a dry crust. Anything above freezing works. Your fridge, back porch, in your car--we used the apple house. The next morning, punch it down--it will already be less sticky--and put it back in the cold, for another long, slow rise.I started my dough Monday night and baked it on Wednesday,but over night is usually enough.
5. I almost always need to add a little more flour for a final kneading and the forming of loaves. Oiling or buttering your hands is also helpful at the last stages, and can help you keep your dough pliable rather than stiff. A pliable, or "slack" dough will form a more irregular and rustic loaf, with the texture as the prize.
I usually use a cookie sheet for this bread, forming 2 large oval loaves.
Sprinkle oiled pans with cornmeal (and sunflower seeds!) to help the bread release and add texture.
Let rise at least 50 minutes, or until double.
Bake at 350 F for 50-60 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped.They should fall right out of the pans.
Brush both tops and bottoms of hot loaves with a little salt and molasses dissolved in water. If the loaves seem too steamy, you can return them to the oven for a few minutes.
For our mushroom toasts, we baked fist -sized pieces of dough, flattened out in cake and pie pans, using high heat (400+F) to produce crusts both top and bottom.We cut the rounds as one might cut a pie, into 6 pieces, then we split and spread them with our mushroom filling before popping them under the broiler.
Sprouted Red Fife Wheat Bread
2 cups sprouted and cooked Red Fife wheat (sprout wheat for 3 days, then cook )
I tbsp yeast
2/3 cup warm water
2 tbsp honey (I used Buzzy Bee ginger flavored honey)
1+ cup whole wheat flour (Country Thyme)
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp salt
2 small eggs (Country Thyme)
1/4 cup gluten flour
Use the same process as for pumpernickel bread recipe above.It works fine in 2 loaf pans.This bread will bake in 45 minutes.
Child -Friendly Greek Salad
was provided by Dawn Bushert of Shirley's Greenhouses.Thank you!
Dawn uses her gorgeous cherry tomatoes whole (no slippery bits in this bowl!).She also chops her cucumbers and peppers a little smaller than most. No onions:no olives!
A dash of good olive oil, a sprinkle of Epicure's Greek Salad seasoning mix, a pinch of salt, feta cheese....yummmy!
Greenberry Microgreen Salad with Curry Dressing
was provided by Greenberry.
A a complex and intriguing mixture of microgreens topped with their own house made dressing--we went through 20 litres of greens and one litre of dressing just like that!
Tell us this will be available again! Please!
Baked Pink Lady Apples with Mince
Pink Lady apples (Apple Lady)
Cranberry apple mince (Apple Lady) or recipe below
Apple juice, optional (Apple Lady)
Crabapple, cranberry and quince jelly, optional (Apple Lady)
Butter for dish, and a titch for each apple ( I added a titch to the mince )
Candied ginger, optional
Wash and core apples. Put a piece of apple in the bottom of the cored apple to hold the mince inside.Place in buttered, oven safe dish.
Fill apples with mince. It takes less mince than you think.
Put additional apple chunks around apples to hold them steady. Pour a little apple juice or water into dish. Scatter additional mince, ginger and raisins, over apple pieces, if you wish.
Bake covered, at first, then finish uncovered.(These apples tolerate almost any temperature--we baked them with pizza pops, then rye bread,and finally, mushroom toasts...but we had added liquid to the pan.)
Dot with a dab of jelly, if you wish.
Serve with a Granola Cookie from Jessie at Honey Cafe!
Whipped cream or ice cream is also nice.
Apple Cranberry Mince
6 cups diced tart apples, such as Pink Lady,Granny Smith
2 cups diced juicy apples, such as Golden Delicious or Fuji
1 bag (340 gm) cranberries (look in your freezer), roughly chopped
2 organic lemons, both zest and juice
I cup dark raisins, (soak dried fruits in spiced rum, if you like)
I cup blonde raisins
I cup currants
1 cup dried apricots, diced
1\2-1 cup diced candied ginger
2/3 cup brown sugar or Buzzy BEE flavored honey (guess what I used)
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 package vanilla sugar--or 2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup apple butter, optional--I used this for some depth of flavor because the mince was made just that morning day!
water or apple juice, 1/3 cup--3 cups--adjust according to season--the apples dehydrate a bit over the winter....
Combine all ingredients in a big kettle with a thick bottom.Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring.Reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes or until apples are translucent.Stir occasionally.If it seems too runny, reduce it.
This may be canned, frozen, or kept in jars in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Fill apples, tarts, bars...top a baked brie, yogurt,or pancakes.