Beau August 7th, 2010
I think I’m a foodie… not only do I enjoy eating food from around the world, but it’s really fun creating new experiences, especially from the garden!
There are few things as rewarding as creating food for the table from vegetables you’ve grown. With this recipe you can include many garden favorites, and make enough to have year ’round.
After a particularly bountiful summer in 2009 full of ripe garden tomatoes, I came up with a new recipe for a soup or salsa dipping relish that includes black beans, corn and jalapeno and green peppers. I’m not sure how I stumbled my way there, but it’s really good!
Better yet it was pretty simple to make- just dice and blend up a bunch of veggies and can them. Not difficult really-the most cumbersome aspect is making room for some large pots, and boiling the sealed jars for a while. If you’re not into canning for the pantry shelf, you can still use this recipe by letting it cool and putting in the fridge, or freezing for storage.
Personally, I love looking at jars of canned veggies and other treats from the garden- especially during those long winter months! Nothing like thinking about the garden to perk you up on a snowy day.
Here’s the garden vegetable ingredients I used for this recipe: 20-25 ripe medium tomatoes, or the equivalent, blended up, 5 half-ripe red, green and orange tomatoes- diced, 3 jalapeno peppers and 4 green bell peppers- all diced, one cucumber diced up (without the seeds), one or two diced medium onions, two ears of cut corn (or 2 cans of corn), and two cans of black beans (rinse and pour the water off).
Ingredients for the sauce: 1 cup of olive oil, 1 cup of vinegar, a half cup of sugar, up to 1/4 cup of garlic powder depending on your taste, and then healthy dashes of salt, white and black pepper, cayenne pepper, parsley flakes, sage, oregano, cumin, ancho chili powder, paprika, tumeric, two tablespoons of yellow mustard, a half cup of molasses, two tablespoons of BBQ sauce(!) of your flavor, a quarter cup of soy sauce, and a little dash of extra seasoning or spices of whatever you like to taste.
And what’s a dash anyway?! Maybe a teaspoon to a tablespoon?
Here’s how I put it together: I chopped the 25 tomatoes and blended with half the jalapeno, green peppers and onions as a thick foundation. I don’t peel the tomatoes- some folks might want to. I find that when chopped and blended, there isn’t much skin- and it doesn’t bother me if it’s there. Same with the other veggies.
Bring the foundation base slowly to a low boil, mixing the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, barbecue sauce and mustard, molasses and soy, and then reduce and simmer for 20-30 minutes while adding the remaining spices and seasonings. Let that simmer for a while to really mix the flavors, and use the time to prepare any other veggies you haven’t got to yet.
Then add the rest of the diced tomatoes, peppers, onions, beans and corn. Let it simmer for another 30-40 minutes, cooking down the veggies. Then right before pouring into the jars and canning, add 2-3 more diced tomatoes and 2-3 more diced green, orange or red peppers for color. These will remain a little less cooked and give the garden salsa/soup a firmer texture.
Remove from the heat and and ladle into jars… carefully, it’s hot!
Process for 40 minutes in a water bath or pressure canner for safe long-term storage (or not if you’re going to put in the fridge and eat sooner).
It made 11 pints and came out as a zesty garden soup or salsa… delicious warm or cold and not too spicy. I call it zesty to keep the “taste temperature” down a bit so more folks can enjoy it.
For a delicious meal, throw some tortilla chips in bowl and pour your Zesty Garden Soup over the top, cover with a favorite cheese… yum! The 9-year old boy loved it so much he had two bowls… it’s already a family favorite with his grandma, aunts and uncles, and they remember it at all the holidays with chips for dipping!
The tomato plants are on the decline now, but I hope we still have another round of tomatoes for sauce and more cooking adventures. Just what you need to do in the August heat, right?! :)
Speaking of cooking, another blackberry pie made the rounds… I really love pie, and surprisingly I really enjoy making them!
This time I used a “pie bird” for the first time. Saw it at a local farm store and thought I’d give it a try. Pretty cool… you just stick it inside the pie when you fill it, and pull the top crust gently down the top. The ceramic bird helps vent the steam and keeps the pie filling from bubbling over.
Have a great week!