I’m looking at gardening books while I’m hungry and I’ve decided that’s probably a very good idea. If my mouth waters as I read the descriptions for each vegetable I’m probably on the right track for what to plant this season. I’m finding myself drawn to the cool weather vegetables right now; quite possibly because of my eagerness to get some food into the ground.
I already planted my garlic last fall and the asparagus I planted last year should yield for the first time this spring. In addition this year I will be planting yams, beets, carrots and onions, along with the summer crop of tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes. Annual herbs like basil and cilantro will join the perennial oregano and rosemary still hidden in the winter ground.
I was given a new favorite book this season. It’s titled From Seed to Skillet by Jimmy Williams and Susan Heeger. As the title suggests we learn everything about the plant from how to design a garden, prepare the soil, planting instructions, care and watering as well as delicious recipes. It’s full of how-to’s and suggestions for any urban farmer. I suggest it for anyone, especially if you’re new to vegetable gardening.
After reading, I decided to make soup to warm us on this cold, still wintery day. I found that in looking in my kitchen I had many of the vegetables I plan to grow this season and I’ve combined them in a warm curry and rice soup. Optimistically, next winter I’ll be using my own carrots, onions, garlic, cilantro and yams. Until then, I’ll continue to plan what to plant, when to harvest and how to prepare my food.
Curry and Rice Soup
2 tbl. Olive oil
1 cup shredded carrot
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 granny smith apple-peeled/chopped
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 tbl. Mild curry powder
1 tbl hot curry powder blend
1 tsp ginger powder or grated fresh (if available)
1 carton (32 oz) chicken broth
1 handful chopped cilantro
1 can light coconut milk
1 cup rice
Drizzle olive oil in sturdy soup pot. Add onion, carrot, garlic, yam and apple. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until onion is limp but not brown. Add salt, pepper, and curries. Stir to blend spices for about 1 minute, then add chicken broth. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Add cilantro and coconut milk. Bring to gentle boil. Add rice; stir. Cover and turn heat to low and cook until rice is ready, about 15-20 minutes. Put a handful of golden raisins in each bowl and ladle soup overtop. The raisins add a sweet bite to the curry flavors. Enjoy!