01 Oct GROWING FOR THE STEWPOT | AUTUMN GARDEN DELIGHTS
Few things make me happier than soup and stew season. It is so nice start soups and stews early in the day, sometimes in a crockpot and other times on the stovepot — there is nothing like the aroma as all of the ingredients simmer together. And something that makes me even happier is growing some of the ingredients myself — from classic beef stews to more unusual chicken and bean stews, many of the base ingredients can be found in your own garden. Here are my favorites.
10 Garden Goodies You Can Grow for Soup Season
See Also: TOP 20 VEGETABLES TO GROW IN YOUR GARDEN
Root vegetables. We had to start with the root veggies, because truly, they are at the heart of every good stew recipe. From carrots and potatoes to onions, turnips and rutabagas, root veggies reign in these one-pot meals. Be sure to grow them in deep, well-drained soil, and when they’re ready to go into the stewpot, cut them into larger chunks to avoid them becoming too mushy.
Onion. No stew is complete without onion and avid gardeners will tell you the sky’s the limit on varieties. From red to green to yellow that grow tall, short, large, long, bunching, with flavors ranging from subtle to sweet to strong onions raw or carmelized will enhance your stew.
Garlic. Fall is a great time to plant garlic and garlic is good in almost anything so adding it to your stew will just up the flavor anty.
Tomatoes. Remember those tomatoes you grew during the warm months, then carefully canned or froze? Now’s the time to take them out and use them as the base stock for your stew. What’s more gratifying than that?
Herbs. Fresh herbs are good for you and great for your stew. Traditional herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, parsley, and basil add depth and dimension.
See Also: HOW TO FREEZE YOUR HARVEST
Greens. I know what you’re thinking — greens in stew? But it’s not as crazy as it sounds, as long as you add the right ones. Forgo the delicate greens for those that will stand up to the heat — kale, Swiss chard, mustard, collards, beet and turnip greens all add a healthy kick to any hearty stew.
Mushrooms. Admittedly, mushrooms aren’t something that most gardeners grow, but here’s the thing — you can. And it’s on my gardening Bucket List. From oyster to button and shiitake, mushrooms grown at home offer the freshest and most delectable taste compared to store-bought, and for much less money. First-timers should consider ordering a mushroom-growing kit; it makes a great indoor gardening project!
Winter squash. These harder squashes are perfect additions to your stewpot. Grow butternut, buttercup, or acorn and add them to any stew recipe — but chicken and winter squash stew is my favorite.
Eggplant. For those who don’t eat meat or who want a little twist on a good thing, try eggplant. It’s a great meat substitute when you still want that hefty, meaty texture.
Peppers. Add a little spice to your stew. Most spice cabinets contain paprika powder but did you know you can grow paprika in your garden? There are Hungarian and Spanish paprika peppers that range from mild to spicy, you can use them fresh or preserve them. If don’t have paprika peppers around you can also use poblano, jalapeno, anaheim, thai, or another variety.
See Also: GROWING AND FREEZING BUTTERNUT SQUASH
About the Author:
Jenny Peterson is a landscape designer and urban farmer living in Austin, Texas. She comes from a family of gardeners and her gardens include drought-tolerant plants, herbs, veggies, and a wildflower pollinator garden. As a breast cancer survivor, Jenny specializes in gardens that heal from the inside out.