Welcome the kitchen readers!
In honor of soup week over at the kitchn and, well, because they mentioned me on their site today which made me feel sort of famous, I thought the least I could do is write a soup post.
Every week for the past month I've made a pot of soup on Sunday, stored it in the fridge in Ball canning jars then brought it to work everyday for lunch. In past years I run through the pizza, marinara and salsa fairly quickly then watch the empty canning jars sit around collecting dust until late summer when I'm ready to put away more tomato based products.
I've made some amazing soups lately including my two favorites, one with fennel, escarole and delicious red peppers and the other with greens and black-eyed peas but it's driving me crazy because nearly everything I've used in my soups can be grown easily in the garden. But, it's wintertime in Chicago now so the fresh produce I'm using in my soup is probably being shipped from lord knows where.
It's been around 10 degrees in Chicago this week. Soup gives me a heaping dose of veggies and warms me up. But Chicago summers it's hot. When it's 100 degrees outside and my vegetable garden is producing massive amounts of garden fresh soup goodness, hot soup is the last thing I want. I want cold crisp salads. Every day. And I'm still having withdrawals for them long after my salad crops are finished.
I ought to be able to have it both ways. My cool fresh garden salads in the summer and garden fresh soup in the winter.
The two options I thought of were freezing the fresh veggies or making the soup in the summer with veggies straight from the garden, then canning the soup to use for the winter. But can you even freeze things like escarole and swiss chard? Is it possible to can the soup using the standard hot water bath? And if you can, will it taste awful at eating time?
If you have found a way to eat soup in the winter made from ingredients straight from your garden, I need to hear from you!