Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring Awakening

The Greenhouse is awakening after a warm, quiet winter.  The volunteers are busy and the greenhouse is full of color.  Many tomato plants have been started, as well as herbs and flowers.
"Soup on Wednesday" at the planting parties has been a great hit.  And we have also had many cakes and salads.  Plenty of fresh lettuce at Comsog!!

The Eggplant Soup  from Alba had rave reviews.

3 medium tomatoes, halved
1 large eggplant (1.5 lbs) halved lengthwise
1 small onion, halved
6 large cloves garlic, peeled
2 tblsp olive oil
2 tblsp fresh thyme or 2 tsp dried (maybe more)
4 cups (or more) chicken broth
I cup whipping cream (optional but good)
Preheat oven to 400.

Place Tomatoes, eggplant, onion and garlic on large baking sheet.
Brush veggies with oil.  Roast until tender and brown in spots (about 45 min.)

Scoop eggplant from skin into heavy large saucepan: discard skin
Add remaining roasted veggies and thyme to saucepan.
Add chicken broth and boil.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook until onion is very tender—about 45 min. Cool slightly.

In batches, puree in blender until smooth. Season with additional salt and pepper and thyme if needed.

Return to saucepan and stir in cream if you decide to use it. You can use less cream than is called for.   Simmer and thin with more stock if desired.  Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with a round of goat cheese on top.
8 week bambino eggplant, first flower open at lastMany varieties of eggplant have been started.  My favorite is Bambino, a small eggplant good for grilling and stir frying. 

Speaking of soup, now is a good time to make kale soup.  There is still plenty of kale at the greenhouse. 
There is also plenty of swiss chard.  Why not try Thalia's suggestions and use the large leaves to stuff like grape leaves.  I had steamed chard in my scambled eggs the other day.  Delish!