MY PROBLEM: I love to garden and I enjoy storing up food for our long, New England winters, but I have a bit of a problem. I seem to have a hard time using up what I have canned and frozen. It is not because I store too much, it is because I use it so sparingly, not wanting to run out! I am getting better, but have still not found that perfect balance of using just the right amount. This week, I was taking stock of what goods I had left and realized that I needed to make a conscience effort to use up more of my stored goods.
THE PLANT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING: As anyone who has grown zucchini can attest to, there always seems to be an abundance of that particular vegetable! Everyone seems to have too much, and is all too eager to share this blessing. In fact I heard a joke last summer that is funny, probably only because it is partially true.
“Why do you lock your car when you go in to church?” “Because if you don’t, it will be full of zucchini when you come out!”
I decided last summer that I should find a way to preserve the stuff. A friend of mine canned some with some tomatoes and other veggies, creating a delicious sauce to serve over rice. I didn’t have more tomatoes, so decided not to go the canning route. Honestly, I have a love-hate relationship with the stuff. I really don’t like it when it is overcooked, mushy and virtually tasteless! One of my favorite things to do with zucchini is to make Lemon Zucchini Bread with it. So, I shredded a bunch up and froze it as an experiment. Today I realized that I hadn’t used one bag! (Thankfully, I didn’t fill too many…)
NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION: Today we had a bit of snow falling all day. (what’s new?!) I thought the dreary day called for a good pot of soup. Sunday is the day I generally go grocery shopping, so my cupboards were starting to look a little bare and I didn’t feel like venturing out into the snow. So, taking into account what I had on hand, I set about the task of creating something I hadn’t tried before. The result was this tasty soup!
Saute in saucepan:
- 1 Medium Onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1/4 C. Water
While onions are sauteing, peel and dice:
- 2 lbs. Carrots
Add Carrots to pan along with
- 1 tsp. Dried Thyme
- 2 Cloves Garlic – Crushed
Cook on low for a few minutes while you blend the following:
- 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
- 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast Flakes
- 1/2 C. Cashews
Add liquid to vegetables. Bring to a boil, then turn to low and simmer until carrots are tender. Add:
- 3-4 C. Shredded Zucchini
Cook for 2 minutes and serve. Delicious!
*Bonus* The zucchini still tasted fresh and held its bright green color. 🙂