Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Broccoli, celery, et al. keep winter-soup recipe file expanding

We are in a soup rut, but it's a good soup rut. Frozen temps, closed-down city, traffic at a snail's crawl on the roads—yesterday was Snow Storm Redux in our town, as it was in many other places as well. Fresh broccoli was in the fridge and needed to make its way into something healthy.

Any more, however, we also don't make light of the prosaic stalk of celery and its health benefits as well. Hubby recently read about how celery is super for its ability to drive down blood pressure. Since managing the BP sometimes is a challenge for him, he's started adding celery wherever possible—even into his famous smoothies! (Doesn't taste bad at all; surrounded by so much fruit and yogurt and nuts, it's hardly recognizable in a smoothie drink.) Celery's apparent cancer-fighting properties boost its popularity as a health-filled add-in.

So with broccoli, celery, corn kernels, and onion on hand, we were ready to roll. No reduced-sodium chicken broth on the pantry shelf, so I simply covered some uncooked chicken breasts in a pan of water and let them boil for 20-25 minutes until the breasts no longer were pink and I had a nice supply of fresh broth ready for my soup. Much better choice than the canned broth (even the lowered-sodium kind) anyway. Plus now I have some cooked chicken bits reserved when I need them for a casserole.

To make a long story short, we had another wonderful soup night. Adding the Cheddar cheese to the thickened soup base made it creamy, cheesy, and great.

Texas may never again have another Arctic season like this one has been, but next year if we spend a lot of time fraternizing with snowflakes, as least my healthy soup-recipe file will be ready.

Creamy Broccoli Soup

3 cups fresh broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
2 cups chicken broth, reduced sodium (or make your own)
4 cups skim milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch salt (or salt substitute)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup Cheddar cheese, reduced fat, shredded
cayenne pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan place vegetables and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender. In a small bowl mix milk, cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Add milk mixture to vegetables and heat on medium high heat. Stir until soup is lightly thickened and begins to boil. Remove from heat. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add cayenne if desired. Makes 6 1-cup servings.

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