Time for soup!!!

I have been so busy with work and travel that I have not had time to put anything here on the blog. Winter is on the way, the cooler days have me craving a nice pot of soup. So today I made one of my favorites “Three Sisters Soup” This is an adaptation of a traditional native american staple. The sisters are corn, beans and squash which they grow together, the corn provides support for the beans, the squash covers the ground and keeps the weeds down, and the beans put nitrogen back into the soil.

Here is a version of the recipe I make, although I seem to change it every time!


Jenny P

I have made my notes in italic, this is one of the best soups I have ever made!
Three Sisters Harvest Soup (Stew)
For some reason, all my healthy soups turn out split pea dark greenish brown. Not a very photogenic color, but apparently a sign of a soup with lots of healthy foods blended together.

This one started out as soup but sometimes I  want it more like a stew, so have included both recipes here.
Ingredients List

The three “sisters”:
2 cups Butternut squash cubed (or pumpkin or sweet potato**)
2 cups beans, any (precooked or low salt canned)
1 bag frozen corn

Other ingredients:
1 large onion
5 extra large cloves garlic
5 large carrots
2 large fresh tomatoes (I usually use a quart of stewed tomatoes)
1-pound mushrooms (You can skip the mushrooms if you don’t like them.)

1/2 pound spinach, chopped (or any greens, fresh or frozen, or skip them altogether)
Pepper, chipotle chili powder, garlic powder, cilantro, or parsley

For stew:
2-3 cups of other beans or lentils, I used black beans since we had them made
Additional vegetables such as green peas, diced carrots, more corn.
Reduce water slightly

Cube butternut squash, put in pan and roast at 350 degrees for 30 o 45 minutes or until soft (I have also put it right into the soup pot with other veggies).  Use 2 cups for soup and freeze or use the rest for other recipes.

Put garlic cloves in a pan, rub with a scant amount of olive oil if desired but is not necessary, and bake the first 15 minutes of the squash’s baking time to roast the garlic (if desired). When cool, squeeze out the roasted garlic, dice, and add to medium low heated soup pot with 1 tsp olive oil or just a bit of water. Let cook while you prep the veggies. (I skipped this and put the garlic In with the rest of the veggies)

While the squash and garlic are baking, chop remaining veggies (carrots, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach).

Gather all the chopped veggies and add to soup pot with about 12 cups of water (or some veggie broth and water, but this kind of makes its own veggie broth with the onions, garlic, and carrots diced so fine and simmered for so long). Use slightly less water for stew, about 8-9 cups. (I often use a box of veggie broth)

When the squash is ready, add to soup, then add cooked beans and frozen corn. Simmer about 15 minutes more and serve.

I like to sprinkle some fresh  cilantro and squeeze fresh lime over the soup when serving.


Vadalia Onion – Jalapeno Upside Down Cornbread

I saw this recipe on-line at Sweet Savant

and I was intrigued, I just had to try it. BUT I didn’t want to use broccoli, I wanted Jalapeno, so I tweaked it up to fit for me.

Vidalia Onion – Jalapeno Upside Down Cornbread
Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 40 mins Total time: 55 mins
Serves: 8 servingss
You will need a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet for this dish. Please be careful flipping the cornbread out of the pan, do this at your own risk
2 Vidalia Onions
4 tablespoons of butter
1½ cups of fine ground cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
⅓ cup white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 minced Jalapeno
4 eggs ( I used flax eggs, 1 tablespoon ground flax simmered in 3 tablespoons water for 5 minutes – per egg)
1 1/2 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Slice the Vidalia Onions into rings leaving the rings in order if possible
Melt the butter in the cast iron skillet
Place the onion slices close together into the butter, fill in any spaces with smaller bits of onion
Finely chop any remaining Vidalia onion and reserve it.
Let the onions cook on medium heat for 5 minutes
While the onions are cooking mix the batter:
Add the cornmeal, flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl and stir to combine.
In a large bowl beat 4 eggs, mix in the eggs, reserved onion and Jalapeno
Add the cornmeal mix and stir to combine.
Pour the batter over the onions
Bake the cornbread for 22-28 minutes or until done.
Let the cornbread cool for 10-15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cornbread.
Place a plate over the pan and using oven mitts carefully flip the pan over and remove the cornbread from the pan

Served with a drizzle of Honey and it was YUMMY!

Thanks to the Sweet Savant  for the inspiration

Gotta get my hands dirty and grow more peppers and onions next year!

Putting up corn!

It’s been a busy week in the kitchen, and it’s only Thursday!August-2

On Monday we had 18 dozen ears of sweet corn delivered by a neighbor. Mind you originally I wanted about 8 dozen, the hubby talked me into 12, when he went to order it, he ordered 15, and when it was delivered I received 18! OH MY! That was a LOT of corn! Tuesday with the help of the DH we shucked it, blanched it, froze it, and dehydrated it. I also experimented with corn cob jelly.

While waiting for the corn to dehydrate the DH discovered there were green beans to be picked, so he picked them. I ended up with 4 eight ounce bags in the freezer, plus 4 pints of dilly beans, and a tray in the dehydrator.

My tomato crop is sad this year, but I had enough ripe ones to make 7 pints of stewed tomatoes.

The plums are ready, so ready they were falling off the tree! Nine pounds of them were picked, Wednesday I made a batch of plum sauce, a batch of plum conserve.aded97a6-acb4-4200-9a5d-066b6bf31b9e

The Beta grapes are ready! So ready the birds have eaten about 1/2 of them. Again they were picked on Wednesday, about 2 gallons worth. I made grape jelly and grape syrup.

There is a plethora of grape tomatoes, to many to eat, so I make “Dilly Tomatoes” a first for us, but they sound good, I guess we will find out later in the year. August-1

It’s the time of year where dirty hands have paid off!

OH NO! There are ripe apples on a tree!

Crabapple Butter!

Oh I have been delinquent lately, not on purpose, but because I have been busy with the veggie garden, and putting food up. My family loves crab apple butter, and I make it every year. But this year a late frost hit the blooms and we didn’t have any crab-apples on our tree. Luckily a friend has a  tree dripping in them, and she doesn’t use them, so let us pick as much as we wanted.


We started with a 5 gallon pail full of crabs, put them into pan, just barely covered with water. Cooked them down until all were soft and had burst. Then we ran it through the food mill, which separated the skins, stems and seeds from that beautiful red pulp. CrabApple-3

Next we added sugar 1/2 cup for each cup of pulp, plus more to taste, plus some cinnamon, and cinnamon red hots, then cooked it down, and down and down, slowly on low heat. It took about 8 hours.


Once we had a nice thick yummy butter, we processed it into jars. CrabApple-4

We ended up with 23 1/2 pints, plus 6 full pints of apple butter.


And while the crab-apples were cooking down, we picked enough beans to also make 7 pints of Dilly beans!


Getting my hands dirty sure pays off!

Here is my recipe:

Crabapple Butter

6 cups (1.5 L) sieved crabapple pulp
Grated peel and juice of 1 orange Optional

Sugar (for every 1 cup of pulp, add approximately ½ cup of sugar or to taste)
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon, optional (sometimes I put in a cinnamon stick or 2 and remove them before processing)
50 to 60 cinnamon red hots

Pick crabapples, add water (about ½ the volume of the crabapples) simmer on medium until apples are soft.

Combine pulp with orange peel and juice in a Dutch oven.
Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to medium and boil gently, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, until mixture thickens to desired consistency.
Stir in sugar and spices, if desired, and return mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
Ladle into hot sterilized half-pint (250 mL) jars, leaving ¼ inch (6 mm) headspace.
Remove air bubbles with a narrow rubber spatula or plastic knife.
Add additional crabapple butter, if necessary, to maintain headspace.
Wipe jar rims thoroughly with a clean damp cloth.
Seal and process in a boiling water bath. Process for 15 minutes