Gardening is cheaper than therapy – and you get tomatoes.
Harvest and preservation
A fruitful season
It has been a generally good season for most of the crops in our backyard gardens this year. I’ve had 17 varieties of tomatoes that have produced steadily starting in about mid-August with cherry tomatoes like Whipper Snapper and Yellow Pear and early varieties like Early Annie and 42 Day. Through the season we have had regular production from three plum varieties and several specialty varieties like RisenTomate and Black Krim. We have enjoyed the simple pleasure of a bowl of snacking tomatoes for close to two months – and there are still a few ripening on the vine, although it will be time to bring in remaining green tomatoes by this weekend.
Our garden has also offered up an abundant and varied supply of squash, much of which will store through the winter. It looks like we will be able to enjoy spaghetti squash at least into January. We have also had abundant beans and cucamelons. Even broccoli and brussels sprouts, which have proven elusive in previous seasons.
We are grateful for the bounty of the season. Soon it will be time to prepare the beds for winter. Perhaps this season, I’ll add a cold frame. But first, there is still lots of harvest processing.
Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil
I made several batches of soup this week including Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil, shown at right with the perfect accompaniment of a grilled cheese sandwich (also our bowl of tomatoes for snacking).
I started with this recipe from Feed the Loon with some modifications to reflect what I had on hand, starting with about 4 lbs of assorted varieties of tomatoes and fresh basil from our garden. Quick, easy and delicious – and freezes very well. Next time I make this, I will probably wait to add the cream before serving instead of before freezing. This worked great but you do want to make sure not to let it come to a boil when reheating.
Made 5 containers of approx. 2 servings to freeze (plus, of course, sampler bowls for our lunch break. It smelled too good to not have some right away).
Potato & Leek
Another one of the soups this week using supplies from the garden. It is the first time that I have had so many large leeks and my small patch of potatoes produced quite well. This is such a tasty and reliable combination that I used much of the crop in soup.
This hearty soup is very welcome on cold winter nights. Add a bit of crusty bread and it makes quick, filling, healthy light meal. I like to top with chives and crispy bacon. Croutons are also good. Adding mushrooms is another tasty option. Maybe some heavy cream or sour just before serving. So many possiblities.
I didn’t use a recipe for this one:
Potato, leek, broth, seasoning as on hand (I used thyme, bay leaves and white and black pepper)