Any doubts that the gardening season is over were accentuated with the blast of snow and wind that north-central North Dakota, northwest Minnesota and the Red River Valley experienced Tuesday. But that doesn’t mean cooks are finished using produce from the garden.
To prove that, I just finished making some vegetable soup with tomatoes, onion, cabbage and carrots from my garden. After adding some pearled barley, celery, broth, seasonings and egg noodles, I had a tasty soup that will be my lunch for the next two or three days.
Here’s another vegetable soup, the recipe coming from Coral Tree Cafe, which has several locations in the Los Angeles area.
End of the Garden Vegetable Soup
2 tablespoons oil
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced onions
½ cup diced red bell pepper
1½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
¾ cup pearl barley
1 quart vegetable broth
1½ cups prepared marinara sauce
2 cups quartered mushrooms
2 cups diced zucchini
Salt and pepper
Heat a medium, heavy-bottom pot over medium heat until hot. Add the oil, then add the carrots, onions, bell pepper, thyme and barley. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are golden-brown, about 18 minutes, taking care that the barley does not burn.
Stir in the vegetable broth and marinara. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
Cook until the barley is al dente, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and zucchini, and season to taste with salt and pepper (the amount of seasoning needed will vary depending on the vegetable broth and marinara used). Cover and continue to simmer until the mushrooms and zucchini are just tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
Remove from heat, thin if desired, and season again to taste, and serve. This makes about 2½ quarts of soup.
Yield: Serves 10.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 155 calories, 4 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 4 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 1 milligram cholesterol, 8 grams sugar, 365 milligrams sodium.