Some people prefer Split Pea Soup thin and creamy. My preference is for a thick, chunky-with-vegetables soup that easily becomes a meal in itself. Whatever your preference, and especially during the cold days of winter, comforting and easy to make homemade Split Pea Soup is a most delicious way to enjoy these nutrient rich legumes.
Native to Europe and central Asia, field peas, also known as dried peas, have been cultivated for thousands of years. Field peas were grown specifically to be dried and consumed whole or ground. And consumed they were throughout India, the Middle East, Asia and Northern Europe…
Perhaps you, too, have wondered about those visions of sugar plums. I imagined sugar plums as something sweet, luscious and beautiful. But what exactly were those sugar plums (and how do I make them)? With a little research, I read that the visions of sugar plums most likely were of “comfits.” Not much as I imagined, as comfits are a type of hard candy. They were difficult to make and consisted of many layers of sugar covering seeds such as coriander or caraway and possibly of fruit.
Fortunately, I gained a new understanding after reading an article by Samira Kawash in The Atlantic. She wrote that “in Tchaikovsky’s day, sugar plum was both the name of a particular candy and the universal signifier of everything sweet and delectable and lovely.”
For two weeks last September, we dutifully covered both our flowers and vegetable garden to protect them from the low night-time temperatures. And then we stopped. With a forecast of snow and a low of 24 degrees, we gave up trying. We harvested all the herbs and green onions and most of the carrots and chard. Then my husband brought in almost eight pounds of green tomatoes.
We’ve had some past success attempting to ripen tomatoes by hanging the plants upside down in our garage. With so many unripe tomatoes, though, I decided instead to make green tomato chutney. Where the inspiration came from I don’t know as I’ve only heard about, though never tasted, such typical green tomato dishes as fried green tomatoes or green tomato jam.
Every summer finds farmers’ markets and gardens awash (as in overflowing) with summer squash. Whether it’s too hot to cook or too little time, let summer squash ribbons come to the rescue. With a jar of pesto in your fridge, easily made and fun to eat Summer Squash Ribbons with Pesto are ready to serve in just 15 minutes.
Belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family of plants, summer squash are related to winter squashes, melons and cucumbers. Summer squash, unlike winter squash and melons, are harvested when immature, while the rind is still tender and edible. Summer squash, like cucumbers and melons, are best eaten fresh and shortly after harvest.
The exuberantly curlicued flower stem from fall-planted hardneck garlic (the kind grown in Montana) is known as a garlic scape. Farmers remove each scape to encourage the growth of large and plump bulbs of garlic underground. For years garlic scapes remained underappreciated. So underappreciated, that they usually ended up tossed into compost piles.
Over the past half-a-dozen or more years, garlic scapes have been “discovered.” Unless you grow your own hardneck garlic, garlic scapes remain difficult to find outside of farmers’ markets. Consider this article your advance warning to buy garlic scapes whenever you find them as their availability lasts for only a short few weeks from late spring to early summer.
Naturally Creamy Lima Beans and Greens Soup may become your go-to cold weather soup. Relatively quick cooking large limas (1 hour pre-soak and 1 hour cooking time) make a deeply nurturing, rich and flavorful broth. Once cooked, the large limas become unbelievably tender and creamy.
Spinach, kale, chard or other greens bring color and nutrition. The optional sprinkling of grated Pecorino Romano, or crumbled soft goat cheese and/or a dollop of pesto make a flavorful garnish.