in the garden, in the kitchen


We've been lounging about, continuing the celebration of accomplishments, loved ones and spring.

On the heels of our big, full week, we spent time around our home doing favorite things.

In the garden, peas found their way under dirt. Oh, peas. I love peas.

I have so received your Virgin Harvest emails! I am behind at updating the list and will do so soon. In the meantime, join the flickr group. Some good conversations and photos happening over there.

In the kitchen, I made a really, really delicious soup.


My husband made this cutting board in high school shop class. It is nearly 20 years-old.

Creamy Broccoli and Cilantro Soup
serves 10

4 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
2 big broccoli crowns + stalks (don't tell my husband who doesn't like stalks. hee!), chopped
1 teaspoon coriander
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups shredded parmesan (or more?)
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, celery and onions over high heat and cook until onions are transparent. Add broth, broccoli and coriander. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Purée in a blender or with an immersion blender. In a separate pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in flour. Add milk and bring and stir until thickish and bubbly. Add to puréed soup. Cook over low heat, add parm, salt, pepper and stir. At the last possible moment, add the giant wad of cilantro and purée again. Serve straight away.

Adding the cilantro at the last sec makes the soup a beautiful spring green and the fresh flavor will knock your socks off.

Also, my kids don't like puréed soups (I wonder if they inherited the aversion from their dad) so we cooked some basmati rice and served the soupy broccoli rice to the girls. They loved it.

I wrote a simple, fun piece for my column this week about the good things that happen while digging in dirt, while stirring over the stove with my kids. Read mama digs: in the garden, in the kitchen.

Sweet dreams.

:: :: ::

all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com


Mary-Cate said...

this looks so good, i must try making this! thanks! xx

Louise said...

yummy! And easy too! I am so going to make this!

clove's corner said...

Dirt! You have dirt! Oh, I want dirt so bad. We're getting there. We have dirt around the bases of trees, but the garden still has over a foot of snow.

Also, I *almost* picked up a head of broccoli today thinking soup, but didn't. Now, I'll have to return to the store and try this soup!

Adriana Iris said...

love the well loved board...

rebecca said...

,,,great minds thinking alike,,,i prepared soup this evening for dinner,,,all veggies with fresh cilantro,,,love the board,,,and peas like "nuggs" are so good,,,

Jeanne said...

The sight of seeds in the ground gets my blood pumping! I love that part...done with the task of preparing and at the doorway of hope.

My hopes have been dashed this year even for my modest garden plans. However soon I will ready to get the ball rolling!

Kelle said...

Am totally making that soup.
And loved the description of your baking and gardening moments. You had me at the leveled spoon of baking soda. I pictured it. I felt it. xo And it feels good to finally be part of the gardening club.

Lisa G. - Happy Mama said...

Sounds like you're having a good week so far :)

That soup looks delish. I'm adding it to my "try this" recipe pile. Thanks!

Lola said...

Making this soup tonight!!!!
Thanks for another great recipe (I'm sure).

Sasha said...

how much flour???

dig this chick said...

oops! About 3 tablespoons flour!

Bikini By 30 said...

I JUST made a batch of what I call Nubbin Soup on Sunday! I've hit some wonderful sales on fresh brocoli lately and had tons of stalks (nubbins) leftover. I love making soup with them. It's green and thrifty and healthy! Oddly enough, as I read this post I am eating some of my soup...with added rice.

Congrats on all the greatness from last week.


Amie said...

Ummmm, YUM!

Kristine said...

I absolutely love how passionate you are about gardening and cooking with your babies! Yet, truthful about how hard it can be at times. Loved this mama digs!

Melina said...

I still cannot believe how many triumphs your family fit into a few days. You deserve this time of chilling, enjoying, cooking, gardening and soaking it all in. People all across the country are so proud of you!


KWQR said...

Mama Digs lovely as always! That soup sounds so delicious... will definitely try this one very soon. Our adventures in gardening have begun... my boys planted seeds for sunflowers & tomatoes. My youngest checked the planter every few hours that first day to see if anything happened yet. Too cute. Now just 5 days later they have started to sprout... so fun to see those little proud faces as they watch their plants grow. Including them more & more in the kitchen has been a fun adventure as well... last week it was pretzels... this week we're going to tackle bagels. It may take longer, but is so worth it.
P.s. Thank you for the link you posted on facebook about "invisible children"... very powerful read & as a mom of a child with special needs, it struck close to home.

LCR said...

I can just imagine the soothing downward slope of the busy rollercoaster you've been on. Hope you're still feeling the high of your accomplishments!
I'm jealous of your dirt. Our plants are currently propped in our livingroom window until the SNOW melts! Oh to be Canadian...

Cait said...

Mmm, that soup looks delicious! Can't wait to get some peas in the garden soon! The ground is close to ready up here, if only the rain would stop!

Heidi said...

yum!!!! totally want to try that soup!

ahh, spring! love spring on your blog!

trbholt said...

via mamalode.com:

I love being at home alone….sometimes reading a book before the sun is fully up, sipping coffee while the dogs still sleep….sewing while watching a old classic movie….or just being in my own space with my own thoughts.


Donna said...

via mamalode.com:

Oh, I aspire to this! I am starting my first garden and my son (he is 20 months) is not into it yet. He prefers to run away rather than dig in the dirt! I try to cook with him too and he doesn’t enjoy that yet either (maybe a gender thing?) The best time for me, is when I’m completely present with him, letting go of my agenda and following his lead watching his delighted face. He is always present…so many lessons to learn!

Monica said...

via mamalode.com:

I can’t wait until my girl is old enough to be as hands-on as Margot. She’s 13 months old and the attention span is redirected at more entertaining things sometimes. But there are instances when I am most at peace with her that I just need to sit back and enjoy the moment. She often quietly makes her way to her little play corner, picks up a book, and seems so enthralled by it that she can sit quietly for a good 20 minutes even with a million distractions around her. I probably have over 3 hours of video footage that I started taking in these little moments since she started walking on her own a few of weeks ago. I hope she continues to love her books the way she does right at this moment

Jessica said...

via mamalode.com:

Thank you for this post! I try to get Sulli involved in baking/cooking frequently for many reasons, but probably mostly because I have attached a certain amount of importance to this as a parent. So far, he just really hasn’t been very interested. Yesterday I was making cookie bars with Sulli and he pulled the entire bag of chocolate chips off the counter and onto the floor. I thought, as I looked at him like he just pooped on my bed, “this just isn’t working, I’m kicking him out of the kitchen!” I lost my patience and my creativity because I was feeling like a failure as a parent. Thanks for the reminder that I should probably exhale a bit on this kitchen business. Man, the expectations we put on our kids due to our preconceived notions of what good parenting is. Yikes!

clove's corner said...

via mamalode.com:

Right now, two things: 1) Just *being* outside with my girl. I slow down, relax, and am completely present with her utter wonder at bugs, rocks, pinecones, mud, birds…. 2) When my husband is home and we are a complete family. I often think, “When he gets home I can do this, this and that.” But more often than not, when he *does* come home, I just melt into our happy, present, full family.

Tatiana said...

via mamalode.com:

I wish I had your patience. Don’t get me wrong. I try, I really do. As a matter of fact I start each day with a prayer for patience, kindness, and a calm heart. But I fear I’m still severely lacking. I love to cook with Evie (2years old), and I think she truly enjoys it too, but sometimes the giant mess that goes with it is a little more than I can handle. But I’ll keep trying.

dig this chick said...

via mamalode.com:

Tatiana, I totally get impatient at times! For me when I start cooking with my kids, it is a choice I make and I remind myself of it as we move through the inevitable chaos. If I need to crank out some food, I choose not to cook with my kids. I think it’s all about figuring out what rhythm works for you and your family, you know? Me too, I’ll keep trying. It’s all we can do.

Jennifer said...

via mamalode.com:

I have two girls and I do this with them as well. Our days are filled with wonder and awe (and a whole lot of messes!) around the garden and the kitchen. You’re right, it’s not efficient or easy, but it’s meaningful.Thanks for sharing!

Happiness is... said...

via mamalode.com:

I find my zen and confidence and peace when doing all of those “things” that my mother taught me – Gardening, cooking, sewing, crafting. She included me within her activities, and HER activities became MY activities. And now that she’s gone, I feel her within me every time I pick up a shovel or thread a needle or mince garlic.

The most spectacular gift of all is that I can share my mother with my daughter as she learns to garden and to cook and to sew and to be creative. The threading of generations.

memomuse said...

via mamalode.com:

I like that your sweater matches the cabinets. Your kitchen looks like a fun place to be. And that is what matters. I, myself, am not so much a chef per say. But I appreciated the post.

I remember the joy of running around the garden my parents created — gooseberry bushes, apple trees, apricot trees, concord grapes hanging on a magical vine we ran through, tulips sprouting, daffadils laughing each spring, roses singing each summer, vegetables in their neat rows next to raspberry bushes and strawberries. Gardens are magical and it is pure magic to teach the next generation the wonder of nature. Glad your show went well.

Minnesotagal said...
This post has been removed by the author.
Daniele said...

I make soup all of the time, I so need an immersion blender! Can't believe I still don't have one. I'm always pouring cooled down concoctions into my cuisenart and then having to warm it again. Boooo. Going to buy one this weekend haha

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