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.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cauliflower and Mushroom Soup restores healthy-eating pattern

Sitting around our house sniffling after our grandmunchkin departed his week from Camp G&G, we knew we had to do something vastly different than we had in our past seven days. Meals had pretty much revolved around his dining schedule; to a certain extent, our diet marched in step with his finger foods and whatever a 1-year-old would eat. Now the time had arrived to get back to our strategic healthy ways.

I had been saving a recipe for Cauliflower and Mushroom Soup from the recent “perfect pairings” feature of the September 2011 Prevention magazine. I was intrigued by this dish because I hadn’t exactly been able to see how a soup was going to materialize out of the simple ingredients of fresh mushrooms, leeks, and cauliflower. I should have trusted my source—Prevention, which around our house is a major resource for all things healthy. This soup was delicious and simple to make.

The key involves pureeing in a blender the combined cauliflower and leeks that for about 20 minutes have simmered in 5 cups water. After pureeing until the mixture is smooth and thick, you return the soup to its original kettle and stir in sauteed fresh mushrooms and grated Parmesan. I sprinkled a little extra Parmesan on top and also dotted the soup with some herb-seasoned croutons I had on hand.

This is not a soup you’d expect to find on the dinner table every day, but it was perfectly delightful and a good trailblazer to get us back on our Post-Camp G&G healthy-eating track.

Cauliflower and Mushroom Soup

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
4 thin leeks, white and pale green parts, sliced
2 pound cauliflower, cut into florets
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
salt (or salt substitute) and pepper to taste

In pot over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pot and cook leeks, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in cauliflower and 5 cups water. Simmer 20 minutes. In blender puree mixture (in batches) until smooth. Return soup to pot; add mushrooms and Parmesan. Season to taste. Bring soup just to a simmer. Ladle soup into bowls. Among the bowls drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil. If you like, top soup with croutons. Makes 6 servings.

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