With a classic ‘in the clouds’ day in the mountains the cold can be quite insidious, if you’re sitting still that is. If you’re out in the garden its a wonderful opportunity to put in new plants and seeds as the air is moist and you don’t have to worry about them drying out. Friday group nominated this week to begin spreading out any herbs we’re backing up at the gardens from home. Although the gardens have fine specimens of herbs in the medicinal garden, some of which are cullinary, they’re not to hand when you want them to make soup with (except Bay). So, as we pull out artichokes whose flowers have now died back leaving skinny beige sticks behind we plant to revegetate with perennial herbs to use in the kitchen: thyme, parsley, oregano marjoram and rosemary beginning today with oregano and thyme.
The first great reorganising of the twentyfirst century is taking place in the shed. This task began some time ago and we hope is nearing phase one completion by which we mean we’ll have a much better collective sense of what’s in there and where it is. Many years of faithful soupmaking and gardening have left debris, and it’s taken a while to sift through the archeology of gardeners’ groups past.
After spending much of our co-op allowance on seeds to date, having cleared away all the old bits of foodstuffs of unknown origin, Lynn went all out on soup ingredients and stocked up on the basics again. So rice, lentils, chia & quinoa are now back in stock for the hearty soups we need to make to keep gardeners glowing and growing through winter.
So today’s soup recipe is a simple one with lots of cupboard love.
Take leaves of garlic and pull perennial leeks. Chop finely and saute in local organic olive oil & herbs.
Add liberal handfuls of grains and seeds, and today we plump with barley, chia, brown and green lentils and pour in a few cupfuls of water. I ferret around and find a few oca just outside the shed door, rinse and add those too. Between us we’ve brought a sweet potatoes and potatoes for the pot and much chopping ensues before they too are thrown into the mix. Broccoli basil also feature but they’re left to put just at the last minute so they’re hot, but keep their colour and flavour. Organic black pepper and salt are the final seasonings and then it’s left to boil while we wander out to work up an appetite.
We plant leek seeds and what the hell more leek seeds, so hopefully trays full of these lovely mild alliums will work into our soups. A small space in the soup garden cries out for china rose radishes so in they go too. I’m in a quandry over some broadbeans which I need to plant but its a bit late in the season, so I chose places I hope are sufficiently sheltered and wont be hit too badly by frost while they’re still small and spread them around so that I’m not putting all my broadbeans in one basket. And speaking of baskets, a reminder that this weekend is Weaving with Weeds. Sunday 1-5pm with the lovely local weaver Claudia Echeverria.