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.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Marvelous veggie melange makes soup a great fall kick-off

Rain fell overnight. Highs today are to be only 85 (a miracle for our scorched neck-of-the-woods). Time to really celebrate fall. For many years my Easy Vegetable Soup has been a fall kick-off tradition at our house. Assembling it yesterday and dining on it last night got my fall groove on for sure.

This vegetable soup calls for a pound of ground beef (I use ground turkey) for its base. This makes it extra hearty. The recipe calls for adding a package of frozen vegetables at the end, but I keep a freezer container into which I dump leftover veggies from whatever I’ve been preparing. Instead of buying a package of frozen veggies I simply use these fresh ones from the deepfreeze. I had a little leftover squash from my earlier blog recipe for Sautéed Squash and Tomatoes, so I added it as well. Makes for a colorful, healthy combination.

I acquired this recipe when I was an officemate of the legendary foods editor Ann Criswell at the Houston Chronicle. She was forever recommending recipes she thought I’d like; my files are stuffed with her “bests”. I featured this recipe in my cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, as a dish that bespeaks of a fall day. That’s what we’ve got today; we plan to enjoy every minute of it and every bite of this glorious soup.

Easy Vegetable Soup

1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
1 cup chopped onion
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup uncooked regular rice
2 (16-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes (I used 2 cans of no-salt-added peeled tomatoes)
3 1/2 cups water
5 beef bouillon cubes
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, unthawed (or leftover fresh veggies that have been frozen)
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can low-sodium tomato soup

In large kettle brown ground beef or ground turkey; drain fat. Add all ingredients except frozen vegetables and tomato soup. Cook covered for 40 minutes. Add frozen vegetables and tomato soup. Cook additional 10 minutes. Serves 10-12.

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