I have been talking about starting a garden for many years but fear held me back. I don’t have a great track record when it comes to keeping plants alive yet I wanted to conquer this fear (of being a failed gardener). When we moved into our new home, almost three years ago, I was excited to see a wooden garden box already in the yard. It was overgrown with weeds and wild scallions and needed a lot of TLC. After much talk, this year we finally planted our garden. I did the planting and my husband secured the frame and added a chicken wire fence (after the bunnies thought it was their personal restaurant). He even staple gunned my name into the side. I decided to keep it simple and plant only seven plants. I had been eyeing a stand at Metcalfs with organic potted garden plants for weeks but when I finally got a chance to buy them the selection was limited. I planted chives, hot peppers, sweet peppers, tomatoes, kale, cabbage and strawberries. My daughters love helping me water the plants and pull the weeds. They love watching the plants grow and within a few short weeks we were growing food.
There is something quite liberating knowing you can grown your own food. I love running down to the garden on Saturday mornings to grab some kale, chives and a pepper so my husband can whip us up an egg scramble. My daughters have loved picking (and eating) our strawberries. They may be few but they are the sweetest, reddest strawberries I have ever had.
Now that summer is over half over (sniff-sniff) I wanted to create a recipe that could use all of the the things in my garden. One that we could freeze and have later this year when cold weather returns and our garden begins to sleep.
Here is the recipe I created called Garden Soup. It’s delicious and earthy, the perfect anytime soup.
3 cups water
2 cups Kale, ribbon cut
2 tbsp fresh Chives, chopped
1/4 cup Cabbage, ribbon cut
1 clove Garlic, minced
3 tbsp Sweet and/ or Hot Pepper, chopped finely
1 small Tomato, diced
3 ripe strawberries, diced
1 large Carrot, diced
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
Sauté the kale, chives, garlic, peppers, tomato and strawberries in a medium pan, using a touch of olive oil to prevent sticking. Add the water, sautéed vegetables and remaining ingredients to a small stock pot and cook covered on low for 45 minutes. Stirring a few times during cooking. Serve warm. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.
I would love you hear from you? Do you have a garden? What has worked or not worked for you in regards to gardening? Answer in the comments below.