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The broccoli is ready! I have a smallish garden plot at my father-in-law’s house this year and I planted lots of broccoli because I love it. I’ve watched the plants grow, getting stronger and larger as the summer sun warmed them and the rains gave them water. I don’t get to tend the garden as much as I would like, but I check on it at least once a week. My last couple garden visits rewarded me with a head or two of broccoli to bring home to add to a salad or stir-fry or, as Calder, our one year old prefers, eating it straight up, nibble by green-faced nibble. Today several beautiful heads were ready for harvest. After cutting up, blanching and freezing the majority of the bounty, I headed to Maine Wood Heat to cook up some soup using the remainder of the broccoli. It was a rare summer soup day; rainy and raw. The idea of cooking soup was exciting to me because soups are a favorite of the whole family and it had been a while since soup was palatable in the heat of the summer. A quick internet search for broccoli soup lead me to this recipe. Martha tends to be pretty reliable when it comes to recipes. It looked simple and I had most of the ingredients. Checking a couple other recipes I decided to add some carrots to my soup because I had a bunch in the fridge. I didn’t necessarily stick to the quantities, but I used the recipe as a base.
Here’s something about me. I like to cook. The process of preparing food and knowing how to combine different ingredients to produce the desired outcome is a challenge and a bit of a game that I really enjoy, but possibly more so, I like knowing that I am nourishing others. I have kids so I try to sneak as many hidden vegetables as possible into the food I make for them. Hence the carrot addition. In my mind, more variety is generally better when it comes to vegetables in food. In went the carrots.

Broccoli, onion and carrot went sizzling in with melted butter in a cast iron pan in the wood fired oven with a live fire.

That cooked until all the veggies were tender, with frequent stirrings to make sure it all cooked evenly. Chicken broth was then added and the pan was returned to the fire for another period of cooking.

The ingredients in the pot boiled away for a few minutes until I removed it from the oven, set it on the counter to rest and cool a bit until I was ready to blend it up.
An immersion blender is an invaluable kitchen tool, especially when making creamy soups. It works well and there’s no messy transferring from pot to blender to pot.

Cream was added, another brisk whip and it was time to eat! Looking at that picture makes we want a bowl of that soup RIGHT NOW! It was so good! Around the shop it was a hard sell. I was running behind due to getting the rest of the broccoli in the freezer earlier in the day (and because I am chronically late), so I missed the lunch hour. The kids, Scott and I sat down and enjoyed it though. I loved the flavors, the texture and knowing that most of it was grown either by me or by local farmers selling their goods at the farmer’s market. Delicious and nutritious! That’s one I will definitely make again.

This baking day concluded with a blueberry pie. After raking out the coals, the oven was the perfect temperature. The crust browned nicely while the fruity inside cooked down.

There was a bit of disappointment when I left the shop with this pie in my possession. Sorry everybody, I promise to make another pie soon. After all, apple season is upon us!