Monday, April 21, 2008

My 10th Book Review With A Bowl of Soup!

A favorite book of mine for many years, as it is all about gardening AND cooking, is “The Moosewood Restaurant Kitchen Garden, Creative Gardening for the Adventurous Cook” by David Hirsch. David’s book is well rounded as it gets you involved in the entire process of cooking from planting to putting the food on the table. David’s first encounter with the restaurant was as a gardener who supplied them with fresh basil. David eventually began cooking at the restaurant but still supplied the restaurant with herbs, flowers, and rare specialty produce as organic gardening is one of his passions.
In his chapter on vegetables, he has a section for each veggie. In that section he tells a bit about that veggie, how to start it from seed or planting, cultural requirements, harvest, and culinary tips. He has a wonderful chapter on herbs sharing with us how to grow, culinary tips, and some interesting ways to use herbs besides in food, such as potpourri recipes. His next chapter focuses on edible flowers. It is packed full of information on how to grow these flowers and culinary tips on how to use them. David’s next chapter delves into the design of your garden. Lot’s of great info in this chapter on patterns, plant selection, and maintenance. Chapter 5 gets into the technique portion, such as soils, mulch, seed starting, buying the plants, transplanting, bug and disease control and much more.
One of my favorite chapters, of course, is the one that has the recipes. I want to share with you one of the soups that I adapted from David’s selection.

Portuguese Kale Soup

1 can of great northern beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 fresh cayenne peppers, finely chopped
1 medium potato chopped
1 large carrot chopped
1 parsnip chopped
1 can of chopped tomatoes, drained
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 large bay leaves
2-3 tablespoons fresh oregano chopped or 1 tablespoon dried
10-12 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil drained and chopped
1 bunch of fresh kale (about 4 cups) chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat your oil in a pot, add the fennel seeds and stir for a minute, then add the onion and cayenne pepper. Sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic stirring for another minute. Now add the potato, carrot and parsnip. Sauté these for a couple of minutes then add your tomatoes, stock, bay leaves and oregano. Simmer all of these for about 10 minutes.
Now it is time to add your sun-dried tomatoes, kale and beans.
Simmer all of these for 10-15 minutes. Taste and add your salt and pepper to your liking.

This is a very simple wholesome soup that would be great for a quick lunch or perfect for dinner adding a crunchy side salad and a loaf of crusty country bread with dipping oil on the side. And hey, don’t forget a glass of your favorite wine to make this dinner complete!

For all of you spring gardeners and adventurous cooks, I highly recommend picking up a copy of David’s book to kick off your spring and summer growing season!



Lucy said...

Deb, each of your book reviews send me scurrying off to Amazon - I love them.

This I've never heard of, but it sounds great. Just up my alley.

And that soup? Marvellous!

Peter M said...

Another Portuguese soup with kale is Caldo Verde. I like these soups that eat like a meal.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I have one of the Moosewood books, but not this one. It sounds very informative and perfect for your Florida weather with growing a garden adn specialty herbs and veggies. They just need to talk about wine and it would be all round book for you:D

Silvia - Magnolia Wedding Planner said...

Well...we do about the same thing in tuscany that is called Ribollita but without coconout oil (we use only olive oil) plus bread. But it looks the same so it's crazy to see a soup so familiar to me on your table on the other part of the world :-P

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful book and a great approach to fresh cooking.

Gloria Baker said...

Really sounds delicious Debs!!! and nice book! xx Gloria

Anonymous said...

Hi Debby! Kim here from Cincy where we are enjoying a beautiful Spring! Hey, what's with the coconut oil? I spotted it in more than a couple of your dishes. Healthy? Adds sweetness I suppose? Are you ready to go kayaking in July?

Anonymous said...

Kale is very popular in the UK at the moment - & we need a soup like this to warm us up - as it is SO cold! The only problem is your cups - they are different from ours - is a cup of kale like a handful??

winedeb said...

Hi Lucy, I know gardening season is almost over for you, but the book would be great for planning next year!

Me too Peter! All in one pot goodness!

Hi Valli, a wine addition to it would be perfect!

Hi Silvia! Yes, I have a recipe for Ribollita that I want to make soon. The coconut oil is a new oil that I am experimenting with in my cooking.

Hi Cathy, a great book combining your garden and your kitchen!

Hi Gloria! A fun informative book and great soup!

Hey Kim, new oil I am working with in dishes. The extra virgin is sweet, but the expeller pressed in neutral. Lots of health benefits.
Might go kayaking on Friday!

Hey Top Veg, yes, a good handful. And if you get a little more, no worry as the kale really cooks down in the soup.

Anonymous said...

Hi Deb, I love the Moosewood cook books and your soup looks delicious :)

Proud Italian Cook said...

I like the fennel flavor in your soup, it looks healthy and delicious, I've been bad, very bad!
I'm curious about coconut oil, I've never cooked with it, whats it like??

Johanna GGG said...

I looked at this book recently and thought - too much gardening stuff for me! But I imagine it is right up your street - and the moosewood books are always great!

Shayne said...

I hate to say it but I have this book and I never even look at it. I just don't find that it calls to me. I guess maybe I should give it another try.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

That soup looks hearty and delicious!

As for the book, if I'm not mistaken, Moosewood is up where I went to school...I'd just never eaten there and now see their books *all the time,* lol

Lori Lynn said...

Hi Deb - thanks for the book recommendation.
Your soup looks so healthy. Beautiful array of colors.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Looks good Deb! Very, very nutricious!

Lore said...

I can only imagine the great flavour of fresh oregano in that soup.Yummy!
My dream is to get to grow my own vegetables and fruits one day. I've done this before but after moving to a big city that's not possible anymore.

Unknown said...

I think I made a similar soup as to yours. I love kale and garbanzo beans in soup, and I love turnip too. So I browned some chicken cubes, bones and garlic in a dutch oven, then I added turnip cubes and garbanzo beans to brown some, then I added stock to get up all the brown bits and to make broth, kale and spices. MMMMM, soup.

I love beans and greens soup a lot.

Lisa Turner said...

I do enjoy a nourishing bowl of kale soup. The addition of sun-dried tomatoes and cayenne peppers makes this one particularly appealing.

A very nice review. I am tempted to add this one to my collection, but I already have another selection on the way and I must resist the urge for the time being. I'm already buried in recipes as it is!