Sunday, December 7, 2008

Rosemary Harvest: Vinegars and Soup

Like a total crazypants, the night before Thanksgiving when I had so much cooking prep to do, I decided to preserve my herb garden's harvest. Well, I guess I didn't really have much choice in the matter, since getting off from work early meant it was the most free time I'd had since the first snow. It was so tedious doing all the thyme, sage, tarragon, rosemary and oregano in one night, let me tell you! I can't even fit it all in one post, so let's start with the easiest- rosemary.

First I rinsed them well in my salad spinner. Then I simply blotted them dry with a kitchen towel. In the three tall cruets I only put in a large decorative sprig, and either red or white vinegar. I may give these as gifts and didn't want the taste of rosemary to be too strong or the vinegar to get cloudy. There probably was a better way to do this, but at that point I was way too tired so it was all I could think of at the time.

The three odd shaped cruets in the front are for me at home, so they got a couple tablespoons of minced rosemary too. I may have to strain them, we'll see.

These aren't fancy, and in the past I've done a better job with peppercorns, mustard seeds, and other spices. But I am a huge fan of rosemary and love the sweet flavor it gives vinegar, so I think although simple these will taste pretty good.

The rest of the rosemary got set out on a tray to dry, along with mounds of thyme:

And then made the most delicious soup after Thanksgiving. I just threw it together with leftovers so I'm not sure of the specific measurements, but it was surprisingly so delicious it makes me warm just thinking about it.

Smoky Grillin Beans Soup

1/3 or so box of whole wheat rotini
2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 carrots, chopped
2-3 celery sticks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
3/4 - 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme (to taste)
3 cloves garlic, minced
about 4 cups no-chicken (or vegetable) broth
1/2 can smoky grillin baked beans

Boil pasta as directed on box.
Meanwhile heat olive oil in soup pot then saute next 5 ingredients (you may want to leave out some of the fresh herbs for garnish at the end). After about 7 minutes when veggies are just about golden and transluscent, add garlic and saute for 3 more minutes. Add broth and bring just to a simmer, turn down to low. Add baked beans and pasta, then continue to heat on low until everything is good and hot. Serves 2 - 3.


Jeni Treehugger said...

I love Rosemary too - such a wonderful herb.
That Soup looks yummy - I have been surviving solely off Soup the past week - I'm addicted to the stuff.

River said...

You are a total crazypants! Right before all the Thanksgiving madness!
Wow, this is really hard core. I feel like a store-bought-herb-dummy!

Jenn said...

Your herb jars look lovely! Smoky soup, yum!

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