Q With all the great things from our gardens, do you have any good ideas for soups using squash and any other vegetables? — Ardy, Missouri
- Ardy, Missouri
You’re right, Ardy, it’s September and our gardens are still going strong. This is the time of year when many parts of the country get a double dose of
fresh vegetable goodness: the last of the summer tomatoes and corn joining forces with the first of the fall squash and root vegetables. And, with the
first cool nights starting to creep up on us, soup is a great way to use all this bounty in your kitchen.
Roma tomatoes are firm, meaty, flavorful and oval in shape. We use them as the base for our chunky Tortellini Garlic Tomato Soup. (No Romas or other fresh tomatoes? Use a
can of Italian-style or plum tomatoes for a very similar effect.) Fresh herbs, fresh garlic and a fresh, hot jalapeno pepper add even more garden-fresh
flavor. (To tone down the jalapeno’s heat, be sure to remove the seeds and ribs before you chop it. And wash your hands thoroughly afterward!)
Cooler fall weather means sweeter carrots — did you know that? Maybe that’s why I just can’t resist snacking on them this time of year. Another way to
bring out the natural sweetness in carrots is to roast them, like we do for this Roasted Carrot Soup. It takes a little extra time, but roasting adds the golden
brown color and slightly smoky flavor that make this soup special. We also include a sweet potato in the recipe to add body and richness.
You don’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen chopping, sautéing, roasting and simmering to make delicious vegetable soup, however. You can put the
ingredients for our Slow Cooker Smoky Butternut Squash Soup
right into the slow cooker and have a hearty, creamy soup waiting for you five hours later. To save even more time, you could use precut cubes of squash
from your grocery’s produce section (if available).
We add a little smoky flavor and just a tiny bit of heat with chipotle chiles, but you could also experiment with the herbs and spices you associate with
cool fall evenings.
Enjoy all the great things that are coming out of your garden, Ardy, and be sure to let us know how you use them.