Sunday, August 26, 2007

Eating Locally.

Inspired by Bezzie's posts about eating from her garden this summer, I want to show off a very locally-produced soup I made last night.


From the PSU farmer's market: basil, eggplant, rosemary bread, tomatoes, bell pepper, and havarti cheese. (as local-boy Homer Simpson would say, "Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeese" drool!). The onions are Walla Walla Sweets from Walla Walla Washington. While Walla Walla is not technically local, a friend from Walla Walla brought a 20lb bag of them with her when she came to Salem for a party last weekend. What a great party-favor! They smell so good, I can't even describe it. I really considered using cheaper non-local vegetable broth, but in the end I went with the slightly more expensive Pacific Organics broth. I skipped the local garlic though, it was $2 a head!!! Eating local foods is not cheap!



Roasted Veggie Soup:


I started by coating my stoneware baking dish & the veggies with olive oil, cut the eggplant in half (cut the stem part off too), put it face down in the pan. I should also have cut the onion in half but I didn't. The tomatoes and pepper went in whole. If I were using garlic, I'd put a whole head (or at least several cloves) in there too. I sprinkle a good bit of kosher salt over everything... but you can add the salt later if you want - or not at all, broth usually has salt in it. The veggies roast at 350F for about an hour.


After I took them out of the oven, I put a little olive oil in the bottom of a soup pot, and added the tomatoes, onion, and eggplant. This is the point when I pull the top off the pepper and scrape out the seeds, I think it's easier after it's cooked that to cut it out beforehand. At this point, if you had roasted garlic, you could squeeze it out into the soup pot. I added several leaves of basil, put a lid on it and just let it cook on a low temperature for about another hour.


Finally I added the veggie broth, pureed it in my blender (small batches at a time) and returned it to the soup pot. Just mix it all together again, and you're done!


I chop some cheese & stir it into the soup when I eat it, and of course, a nice piece of rosemary bread never goes wrong!

Alternatives - you can use pretty much any veggie, and I've made this soup a few different ways. I find that using zucchini & summer squash (instead of eggplant), red peppers and red onions I get a better color and a slightly different taste. Red onions have more of a tang to them. Oh, and I usually add a healthy dose of garlic - yummers! Not only are the ingredients (mostly) local to Oregon, it's a very good meal for Portland weather. I can make up a batch on the weekend and put it in the fridge/freezer. Then when it's cold & cloudy & rainy I can just heat it for two minutes in the microwave and it's done. Roasting the veggies really gives them a good hearty flavor, it's thick, hot, and creamy (if you add cheese) - it's a perfect comfort food.



8 comments:

Michael5000 said...

If you want to eat locally AND cheaply, I would be happy to set you up with about 500 pounds of zuccini....

Zonda said...

Looks really good! :)

jovaliquilts said...

Oh, sounds so good. We've been living on roasted vegetables this summer. I'm a terrible gardener but thank goodness for the farmer's market!

Magatha said...

What an excellent soup, and a gorgeous presentation. Nothing like bread and homemade soup!
(Rosemary bread never survives the day around here. :-)
Love that Pacific broth. I make udon and the chicken broth all the time.

Libby said...

Um could you fed-ex some?? You just made me sooo hungry...but I guess that wouldn't be eating locally.

Bezzie said...

Sounds delish! I can't wait for soup weather here!

Missamite said...

Hmmm I have most of that in my garden. Do I really want to turn on my oven today? Wait I'll give you the ingredients and you cook for both of us;) Have you tried freezing it?

atet said...

ooops, I think I left the comment that was MEANT for this post on a much older post. My bad -- but the soup here still looks yummy!