Monday, 7 September 2015

It Might Not Be Perfect But .......

It might not be perfect but it is food.

In the supermarket you see row after row, bag after bag of perfectly formed identical apples, cucumbers, courgettes etc and so many folk think that this is how food grows,  The farmer plants the seed and up pops this perfect specimen of goodness.  What they don't realise to get this little bit of perfection there are pesticides involved, insecticides used, there is wastage on a MASSIVE scale of all the fruits and vegetables that did not attain the level of perfection required of them.

Homegrown on the other hand means you eat what you grow and you make the best of every fruit or vegetable you harvest and that is what I am doing at the moment.  Yes, the pesky rabbits ate all the tops to the onions and garlic but that doesn't mean the much too small onions and bitty in some cases half formed garlic that I had to pull up before they rotted in the ground are inedible, on the contrary the onions are blow your socks off strong and the garlic is the mildest creamiest garlic I have ever tasted.

Making full use of a marrow sized courgette I made a pan full of 'soup' the other day.  

First roasting the vegetables slowly in the simmering oven of the Aga to bring out the flavour.  The arty shot above with the rosemary draped over the vegetables is not how you put it in the oven, you should always push your rosemary under the vegetables so it can impart it's flavor before the heat of the oven zaps it too much, if you do want it on top make sure you drizzle lots of olive oil on it first.

Once roasted the vegetables were tipped into my biggest pan and were joined by a couple of tins of tomatoes, a tin of butter beans (I HATE butter beans as they are, but added to a soup or sauce they add a buttery creaminess that I love), and big squirt each of garlic and tomato pastes.  The homegrown garlic added the mild rich flavour and the tubed garlic the strength of flavour.

It was all brought to the boil and then put back in the oven to simmer long and slow, it was an easy days preserving work, leaving me time to get on with other things.

Once out of the oven it was quickly blitzed with a stick blender in the pan, and then ladled into four two person portions and two one person portions, one I ate for my lunch before taking this photo to check I had the flavour just right  :-)

Of course it's not just soup!!

Because I left it thick and rich it can be used as a pasta sauce, a pizza topping, anything in fact that you would normally open a jar of bought-in sauce for, but served as it is or diluted slightly it will make a few meals of deliciously warming soup.  And with the weather most definitely taking a turn for the chillier it could be coming back out of the freezer before too long.

So I'm all for using up everything I harvest and I don't mind one little bit if my onions are tiny and fiidly, my garlic falls apart because it's outer skin didn't develop on all the bulbs, that my courgette is masquarading as a marrow or that my tomatoes are every shape and every colour under the sun.  It's all food and damn fine tasting food at that.

Sue xx


  1. Looks delicious Sue! What beautiful veg grown :-)

  2. Ah. But was is perfect ?
    To me perfect is free of pesticides and herbicides. Even more perfect when grown by oneself. Blemishes and all.
    I also have courgettes that have turned into marrows, but not too big. They still have lots of nutty flavour and the flesh is still firm. I'll be turning some of them into a chutney and maybe also some soup.
    Nothing as satisfying as eating your homegrown stuff.

  3. Some of our produce this year - the few that the birds have left for us - would easily win an ugly contest but they all taste superb!

  4. Exactly right Sue. I'm actually waiting for my courgettes to get too big (should happen this week as I am away in Cornwall) just so that I can make Glutney Chutney !

  5. I thought it was ratatouille you were making. Me so stupid!

    1. Not so stupid!! If the veggies had been left chunkier and not whizzed up it would almost have been a ratatouille. It would just be missing the Aubergines, which unfortunately have let me down this year. Lots of plants but not a single one with a fruit on :-(

  6. I think that looks great. I'm going to pick the last of our tomatoes today and I think I'll do what you did and roast them first. Also I think, following your cue, I'll just freeze it for later. I'm trying to lose some weight so tomato vegie soup sounds perfect.

  7. Looks wonderful Sue, a fab way to use up veg x

  8. Will be making this for sure, looks nice, I have already started saving ice cream tubs for storing soup in the freezer.

  9. I completely agree. I would rather see ugly good tasting food than beautiful tasteless food. I'm sure the same could be said of people too.

  10. You are soooo clever, and using your veggies for soup is a great use!

  11. My son took a curly carrot to school for part of his lunch yesterday and amazed all his friends who thought carrots were only ever dead straight. Worryingly, he (and they) are 14.

  12. Sue, this is making my mouth water. Your veggies look fab! M


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