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 9, 2011

Squash in tortilla soup a wonderful addition to a dime-a-dozen dish

Whoever heard of squash in tortilla soup? Yet that’s exactly the feature that drew me to this recipe. One-half pound yellow summer squash floating in chicken broth with grape tomatoes alongside it (and garnished with avocado, cilantro, and baked tortilla strips) sounded as though it would be a winner of a meal. It was.

Tortilla soup recipes are a dime a dozen; I usually love every one I try, but none ever has been a standout quite like this one (thanks, Prevention magazine, September 2011 issue).

While the squash appealed to my taste buds, Hubby called attention to the chipotle “kick” after the first few bites had settled in. “It’s a good kick, though,” he explained. I noted that anything labeled tortilla soup has to have that South of the Border jolt. We both also liked the toasted tortilla strips cut up to top the soup—good way to use up extra tortillas that (at our house, at least) seem to just lounge around in the fridge.

This recipe made enough to warm the insides of the two of us for a couple of days. With the pre-autumn temps lowering slightly this week, we didn’t mind the “inside-warming” a bit.

Tortilla Soup

1 medium white onion, quartered
1 1/2 pounds grape tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 pound yellow summer squash, sliced
8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from canned chipotles)
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro sprigs
3 (6-inch) yellow corn tortillas, sliced and toasted (I broiled mine briefly in the oven)

On foil-lined baking sheet broil onion and 1 pound of the tomatoes; broil 5 inches from heat. Turn until slightly charred, about 5 minutes. Coarsely chop in food processor; add garlic and chop further. Into a kettle add tomato-garlic mixture, squash, broth, adobo sauce, and remaining tomatoes. Simmer 20 minutes. Serve in bowls topped with avocado, cilantro, and toasted tortilla strips. Makes 6 servings.

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