Vegetable Chowder

Instead of 1/4 cup butter and 1/2-pint heavy cream, as in the original version, this new light one has only 1 Tablespoon butter, no cream, and the option of low-fat milk. It still tastes luxurious.Try not to shy away from the full amount of garlic. It gives the soup a rich flavor and is surprisingly smooth and subtle.

1 Tablespoon butter
2 cups chopped onion
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons thyme
2 teaspoons basil
1 medium potato, diced
2 medium stalks celery, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups chopped cauliflower
1/2 lb. mushrooms, chopped
2 cups corn (frozen-defrosted is fine)
lots of fresh black pepper
1-1/2 cups water
optional: minced fresh herbs (chives, basil, marjoram)

1. Melt the butter in a kettle or Dutch oven. Add onion, half the garlic, salt, thyme, and basil. Sauté over medium heat 5 minutes. Add potato, celery, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. Sauté another 5 to 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and corn, plus lots of black pepper. Sauté another 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Add water, cover, and simmer about 15 minutes, or until everything is tender. (Make sure the potatoes are done.)
3. Stir in hot milk and remaining garlic. Remove from heat until about 10 minutes before serving time, then heat gently.
Serve topped with freshly minced herbs.
Makes 8 servings. (Can easily be halved)

Black Bean & Salsa Soup

This soup is sooooo good and you can tweak the recipe based on what veggies you have on hand. The recipe is vegan, but you can always add chicken or some other meat if you want extra protein, and/or garnish with shredded cheddar and/or sour cream.

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, diced
3 or more cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red pepper, chopped
1.5 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1.5 cups chunky salsa, fresh (homemade or store bought) is better than jar salsa.
4 cups vegetable stock
2 15 oz cans black beans, drained
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
Extra’s for serving (all are optional)
lime juice
fresh cilantro, chopped
tortilla chips
ripe avocado, cubed
hot sauce
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream

Procedure:
1. Heat oil in a large soup pot. When hot, add garlic, onion, pepper, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir and cooked for about 4 minutes.
2. Add cumin and chili powder, stir to coat. Then add salsa and vegetable stock. Bring to a low boil.
3. Add black beans and corn. Simmer covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you are adding meat, figure out when to add it based on what type and whether it is pre-cooked.
4. Enjoy on its own or add some of the extras suggested above.

Shepard's Pie

Possibly the best use for leftover mashed potatoes and the odds and ends of the previous week’s CSA box. The ingredients can vary based on the season and your mood.
2 cups mashed potatoes
1 onion-chopped
3 cloves garlic-chopped
1 bay leaf
¾ cup chopped fresh tomatoes or ¼ cup tomato paste and ½ cup water
1 tsp salt
Any or all the following:
carrots
broccoli
green beans
peppers
corn kernels
chard
spinach
summer squash
cauliflower
Preheat oven to 350.
Prep and chop all veggies.
Sauté veggies in olive or canola oil starting with onions and garlic and adding ingredients with longer cooking times first, salting each addition lightly.
Add tomatoes, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Pour veggies in a 9×13 baking dish.
Spread potatoes over the top and sprinkle paprika over the top.
Bake for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are piping hot.