Kitchen Garden

Overnight Soup

Deciduous Tree Leaves

In our search for truth and meaning there’s nothing like making soup.

Each batch can be spontaneous yet based in traditional flavors and processes. Soup uses what comes in from the garden, is stored in the pantry and ice box, and our kitchen skills. A gardener makes a lot of soup.

It is honest food.

Friday I drove straight home from work at the home, farm and auto supply store and got started.

I wanted to glean the garden before the weekend’s hard frost. I brought in carrots, eggplant, tomatoes, kale, bell peppers, Red Rocket and Jalapeno peppers, basil and broccoli along with a five gallon bucket of apples.

I’ve had an idea about making crock pot or slow cooker soup for a few weeks. The idea is to do the prep work Friday night and set the temperature on high. At bedtime I would turn it to low, letting the mixture slow-cook overnight. I hope to can fewer big batches of soup while continuing to use up vegetables at the end of the span between fresh and compost. A crock pot makes enough for four to six meals.

It began with a cup of dried lentils and a third cup of pearled barley in the bottom of the crock. I turned on the heat and added a quart of home made tomato juice then got to work prepping vegetables:

All of the carrots from the garden and some from the CSA.
The remainder of a head of home grown celery.
One large yellow onion.
Bay leaves.
Two leaves of green kale, including the stalk finely sliced.
Small tomatoes, quartered.
Root vegetables: kohlrabi, turnip and potatoes.
A leek.
Several broccoli florets with stalks finely sliced.
Dried savory and salt to taste.

The vegetables went into the crock as I cleaned and cut them. When prep work was done I added a quart of home made vegetable broth and covered with water.

That’s it.

In the morning the soup was flavorful, thick and hearty. I had a bowl for breakfast, leaving more than a half gallon in glass jars for the ice box.

In a turbulent society there is no better way to sustain ourselves than with a bowl of hot soup.

I plan to make more.