Sunday, March 4, 2012

You Can Grow That! (And a mouthwatering recipe, too)

Today, I'm joining noted gardening gardening expert C.L. Fornari and garden bloggers around the world to create a collection of various garden blog posts on the 4th of every month that can serve to raise awareness of the joy and importance of gardening and planting.

Today, I want to talk about garlic, and how easy it is to grow.  It starts with friendship.    Years ago, I met Mike Finger, of Cedarville Farms at his stall at the Bellingham Farmer's Market and I instantly respected his commitment to organic farming.  He and his wife Kim are warm, caring and informed, and never seem to forget a customer's name.  If I was going to start growing garlic, then I was going start by supporting a friend, and make a great experience even better.

So back last September, I went to the Farmer's Market, and made a beeline for Mike's stall.  Sure enough, there was a beyootiful head of Rojo garlic.  I brought it home, separated the cloves, and stuck 15 in the ground.  Here's the result, today, March 4, 2012:

Aren't they pretty? 
My friend Jackie had me thinking about Garlic Soup this week since she'd had a great bowl in Coupeville over the weekend.  That sounded so good after all our grey, rainy days!  Last night I adapted a recipe from The Novice Chef  based on what I had on hand.   It was terrific!  My Wonderful Husband (MWH) and I finished it all, making  involuntary little mewing sounds of contentment with every spoonful.   
 Tiny Tim's Roasted Garlic Soup

2 heads of garlic,                                  1/2 C. Sauvignon Blanc wine
 top sliced off                                       1/2 C. water
1 garnet yam, peeled                            1/2 t. Salt
1 acorn squash                                     1/2 fresh cracked pepper
Olive oil                                               1/4 t. dried thyme
Butter                                                   1/4 t. Cajun seasoning
1 large sweet onion                              2 C. organic chicken broth
 sliced thinly                                         Sour cream or yogurt
2 T. Flour

Set oven to 400.  Put both heads garlic on a piece of foil, drizzle olive oil on them and seal them into a packet.   Cut the yam and squash into small pieces, place them in a large baking dish, and drizzle olive oil liberally over all.  Put both the baking dish and the packet of garlic for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter and olive oil (whatever amount you want) in a large, deep frying pan.   Over medium high heat, cook the sliced onions for about 15 minutes, until browned and crispy.  Sprinkle the flour over the onions, and deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping all the good bits up.  Add the spices and remove from heat.

Turn off oven and remove garlic and baking dish.  While the garlic and squash cool a bit, add the yam to the onion, turn to medium heat and stir.  Squeeze the garlic into the mixture, cut the peel away from the squash, and add them to the mixture, stirring to mix them in.  Add the water and broth and bring to boil, stirring constantly.  

Carefully put the pieces and liquid into a blender or Cuisinart and liquify.  Repeat the process until you have a thick soup that smells outrageously good.  Taste, correct seasoning (the Cajun seasoning is awfully good), ladle into bowls and top with sour cream or yogurt.


  1. One thing I love about Garlic, besides cooking with it, is that it comes up very early and brings encouragement to the garden and the gardener!

  2. That is so true--it's very affirming when you plant with trepidation in October to see signs of life in late February. This year, my hellebores and garlic emerged pretty simultaneously.

    If you cook with garlic, have you made Chicken with Forty Garlic Cloves. It's French country cooking at its best!