Chicken Coop Chatter©
Pioneers had kitchen gardens, no doubt for convenience in watering and tending, so they would have been growing very near the kitchen door. You would find squash, cabbage, kale, beans and a variety of available vegetables growing that could be preserved or stored through winter. Tomatoes were the least of the vegetables grown, but they were used in fresh cooking, and sun dried as a means of preservation until the late 1800s.
When tomatoes were first introduced by the Spaniards from South America to other lands, people were not receptive to them, thinking they were poisonous. They are related to the deadly nightshade, but only the leaves are poisonous, not the fruit. So even though the South American people had been growing and using tomatoes for centuries, the introduction to the European countries did not encourage cultivation until later when botanists determined they were a new kind of eggplant and to be cooked and eaten like an egg plant. Much later it was discovered that tomatoes were not egg plant, but a family member along with chili's and potatoes, but even Italians only grew and used tomatoes for table decorations, and only much later came into wide use in Italy for a variety of dishes.
Because of the Spaniards trade practices, tomatoes are now grown around the world and used in virtually all cuisine in some form but it was a long route before the tomato returned to the New World and became generally accepted in this country by the European immigrants. One variety of tomato grown by the Early Oregon Trail pioneers was Galina's heirloom yellow cherry tomato. The tomatoes are about the size of a quarter, and the sprawling plant yields many sweet rich tomatoes.
Though my recipe is not authentic as a pioneer soup, it does utilize garden fresh vegetables that pioneers would have tossed into the soup pot with or without the addition of meat. Though I call this Kitchen Garden soup, it could be considered everything but the kitchen sink soup. Any and all vegetables ready to harvest can be tossed into the soup for all the nutrients, color and flavor. The addition of squash adds a colorful Autumn season enhancement to the soup broth.
6-8 Medium Tomatoes (washed, cored, cut in quarters)
Small head Cauliflower (cut in florets)
1 Hubbard squash (pulp cut in chunks)
2-3 C. Chicken broth or Vegetable broth (see instructions for making your own at the link below)
1 T. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. Garlic powder
Salt to taste
Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Wash and cut up tomato in quarters. Wash and cut up cauliflower in florets. Cut and scrape of the seeds of Hubbard squash, with a knife, cut into the flesh of the squash pulp and scoop out. Cut in bite size chunks. Fill the slow cooker with an equal amount of each. Add 2-3 cup Chicken broth or warm water. Cover. Set slow cooker on high 4 hours. Stir, then set the slow cooker on low setting, stirring as necessary. Add Italian seasoning in the last hour, stirring into the soup mixture. Add a pinch of salt or to taste. Serve in a prepared squash shell, topped with grated parmesan or romano cheese and a basket of warm Sourdough bread sticks alongside.
NOTE: Reserve the squash shell to use as a serving bowl as a fun way to celebrate the harvest bounty. Refer to my tutorial on preparing the shell to use for serving. Reserve the seeds and pulp for the chickens, or refer to my instructions for making a healthy snack from the seeds.
NOTE: Zucchini or other squash slices or chunks may be substituted for the Hubbard, and other vegetables from the garden can be used (carrots, turnips, potatoes etc).
NOTE: Reserve scraps from vegetables used, toss into a kettle with water to cover by an inch or two and simmer for a garden fresh vegetable broth.
For Sourdough bread sticks recipe, refer to my link: http://justfowlingaround.weebly.com/from-the-pantry/category/sourdough-bread-sticks
For making Chicken broth, refer to my link. http://justfowlingaround.weebly.com/recipes-for-self-reliance/category/how-to-make-meat-broth
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