Today was a rainy, gloomy day, forcing my younger brother and me inside. We were completely bored. I soon realized that what our day needed was a delicious, home-cooked meal, so I opened up The Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden-Fresh Cookbook for some ideas.
With the cold and gray weather, soup seemed appropriate. I chose the Zucchini Potato Soup and the Herbed Popovers, which I thought would complement each other perfectly. We walked to the nearest grocery store and loaded up on fresh ingredients.
When we arrived home, I preheated the oven to 400°F and started mixing the eggs, milk, and butter for the Herbed Popovers. After adding the wet mix to the flour and salt, I folded in the thyme and oregano. I used cupcake tins instead of popover trays, but, after consulting with my mother, I was assured that this was common practice.
Ingredients for Herbed Popovers
Once I had put the first batch of popovers in the oven, I started chopping up the potato, onion, and zucchini for the soup. The soup was quite simple to make, although I should note that when adding the egg to the soup, it is crucial that you continuously stir it in. You do not want the egg mixture to curdle.
Ingredients for Zucchini Potato Soup
I enjoyed making this meal because the recipes were straightforward and easy to follow. The ingredients cost me less than $20 (save the salt and eggs that I already possessed) and fed four people—with leftovers! The soup would be great for a light lunch or as an addition to a meal throughout the week. I spent a little less than an hour and a half preparing this meal, so it may not be ideal during a busy week. However, the soup only took about half an hour and, as I noted, the recipe left plenty to be used later.
(found on page 256 of The Garden-Fresh Cookbook)
Serve warm with whipped butter.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease 12 popover or custard cups. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Stir with a whisk or fork to blend thoroughly. Whisk the milk, eggs, and butter in a small bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Slowly pour the milk mixture into the well while beating the batter. Continue beating for 2-1/2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Fold in the herbs. Pour into the prepared cups, filling only halfway. Place the cups in the oven on the center rack and immediately lower the heat to 375°F. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until puffed and browned.
Makes 12 popovers.
Zucchini Potato Soup
(found on page 68 of The Garden-Fresh Cookbook)
5 cups chicken broth
1 pound zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
1 large potato, halved and thinly sliced
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, potato, and onion. Reduced the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, beat the eggs. Add the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the warm broth and whisk to combine. Add the eggs and lemon juice to the hot broth gradually and stir constantly, so that the mixture doesn’t curdle. Increase the heat to medium and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, but do not boil. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Makes 8 servings.