Kitchen Garden

Vegetarian Onion Soup

Lettuce Patch
Lettuce Patch

LAKE MACBRIDE— Sunday was cooking day after finishing my work at the newspaper and the farm: the beginning of a long season of using and preserving the summer bounty. It began with figuring out what was in the refrigerator.

Three heads of cabbage are holding up reasonably well, but there is leftover coleslaw from last week. The idea is to make sauerkraut, feeling bullish on fermentation after the success of my pickle experiment. For now, I peeled the old skin from the outer layer and neatly arranged them on a shelf.

I boiled potatoes to use in breakfasts and a potato salad. The potato salad included potatoes (skins on), two hard cooked eggs, diced dill pickles, diced red onion, and a dressing made from salad dressing, yolks of the cooked eggs, yellow mustard and salt. It will keep for a few days if it is not eaten first.

Juicing half a bushel of apples made a sweet, but almost clear liquid. I need to add juice to the mother of vinegar in the pantry, but decided to wait until an amber colored juice came from the apples in my back yard. I bottled half a gallon of apple juice for breakfast and casual drinking, then drank some.

While gardening, I found a stray turnip and harvested it for the greens. I made soup stock with turnip greens, carrot, celery, onion and bay leaf. I used some of the stock to make rice, some to make onion soup and the rest waits in the refrigerator for the next project.

Onion soup is a mystery solved. I piled vast quantities of sliced onions in the Dutch oven with a layer of olive oil on the bottom. A sprinkling of salt and then a low and slow cooking until they began to turn brown. Just covering them with the turnip soup stock, I simmered until done. Soup was served with grated Parmesan cheese. The soup was as good as any French onion soup to be had at a restaurant. So sweet and flavorful with the simplest of ingredients.

The tomatoes are starting to pile up, there are potatoes aplenty, apples and sweet corn is due any week from the CSA. This year, I’m ready for all of it.