It’s hard to believe as we wake up to frost-gilded mornings and experience the darkest days of the year that there’s any logic in thinking about the garden. Most enthusiasts, however, will tell you this is an ideal time to dream.
I first encountered this soup in Ireland, where the recipe varies from home to home based upon their likes and what they may have on hand.
Though wonderful as written, don’t be afraid to substitute or add. Roasted root vegetables, squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, even leftover green bean casserole. I wouldn’t hesitate to include any of them because once pureed, this is one of those dishes where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
As the holidays approach, here is an ace for your sleeve: a wonderfully unfussy and extremely versatile tart that comes together quickly, thanks to the help of the food processor. Blitz up a batch or two of the crust dough and stash them in the freezer to pull out for effortless entertaining, or if, like me, this is your idea of a perfectly appropriate weekend breakfast to bolster you before the holiday onslaught.
This sauce is fall in liquid form. A brilliant balance of sweet, tart and savory comfort, worthy of diverting cider from your cup. Use the best quality apple cider you can find and your efforts will be rewarded with a lick-your-plate clean experience. It shines when served with a grilled pork tenderloin (though it would be equally at home on the same plate with with a turkey or chicken breast) and an earthy root vegetable mash of potatoes, parsnips and rutabagas. A good local hard cider wouldn’t go amiss with this meal either.
Step away from the pumpkin spice latte! Yes, our days are getting noticeably shorter and Labor Day is but a memory, but this is when it gets GOOD in Michigan. No other time of the year will gift us with this much fresh local produce. Stores and Farmer’s markets are overflowing with the best of summer – sweet corn, blackberries, green beans, real vine ripened tomatoes… this is what we dream about in the dregs of February! Let’s make the most of it! Let’s start with this…..
The only exact things about this recipe are the measurements for the brine. Everything else is up for grabs – the amount of garlic or dill, the amount of heat you want, the vegetable or vegetables you use in your pickle, and even the amount of pickle you want to make. Unused brine can be poured into a glass container and refrigerated for future use*. Simply bring back to the boil before using for your next batch.