No Croutons Required - Garden Harvest

The challenge for September was to come to come up with a soup or salad featuring vegetables, herbs and fruit harvested in your garden. The choice was up to the chef. There is always such an abundance of produce in the fall and so many creative ideas to make your tummy happy and nourished. A big thanks to all who cooked up a dish and sent it to us. We received some tempting entries as usual and of course the choice won't be easy, but please do vote for your favorite recipe in the comment section or via email. Please note that my submission is not eligible for voting.

Our first entry is from Michelle of Food, Football and a Baby. The Courgettes in her garden are growing like crazy and even sharing them with the neighbors, she can't keep up with her garden crop. This inspired dish, Cumin Spiced Courgette, is a true delight combined with courgettes, onion, tomato, cumin, freshly cracked ground pepper, ginger, chili flakes, olive oil and fresh coriander. A delicately spiced stir fry and easy to prepare and a perfect side. Michelle also made some preserved pickles for the winter. (Edmonton, AB, Canada)

Next up is Lisa of Allergy-Free Vintage Cookery with this mouthwatering Hidden Zucchini Soup. Strong flavors and lovely contrasting colours, this soup is made up of zucchini, potatoes, garlic, vegetable broth, green onions, fresh mint, cumin and garnished with cooked diced beets after the soup is pureed. Even her three sons who are not fond of zucchini enjoyed the soup. Another perfect way to incorporate this healthy vegetable into your meals. ( Massachusetts, United States)

A good season this year for abundant crops of zucchini, Susan of Holly Grove Kitchen offers up this Courgette and Runner Bean Soup consisting of onion, courgettes, garlic, french and runner beans, cumin, a broth mix of dried pulses including peas, pearl barley, lentils, vegetable broth and curry paste. Blend and serve with garlic ciabatta and you will have a most enjoyable meal. (Shropshire, UK)

My submission this month is a Summer Chickpea Salad. Refreshing and full of flavor, this salad is perfect for warm days and goes well with Jasmine rice. Chickpeas, grape tomatoes, yellow or orange peppers, jalapeƱo peppers, fresh basil leaves, fresh mint leaves, feta cheese and kalamata olives are dressed with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Certainly a staple in my kitchen when I want a quick but nourishing meal. (London, Ontario, Canada)

C of Cakes, Crumbs and Cooking may have more weeds than produce, but she does have some lovely herbs that are growing well. Rosemary is the star ingredient in this Roast Butternut Squash and Rosemary Soup with Chilli and Cinnamon. A focus on local ingredients, this pureed soup is a treat in a bowl with roasted butternut squash, red onion, rosemary, olive oil, vegetable stock, cinnamon and dried chillies. Served with bread, this is just perfect as the temperature cools down as we approach the fall. (Northwest England, UK)

Mango Cheeks of Allotment 2 Kitchen uses sage from her garden plot and comes up with this warming Lentil and Sage Soup that is easy to prepare, making it a good meal for a busy week. I couldn't resist a bowl of this soup consisting of yellow split peas, vegetable stock, fried onions and garlic, infused with sage and seasoned with salt and pepper. She served her soup with some cute savory "frog" biscuits. (West of Scotland, UK)

Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe tells us her garden is a symbol of hope. Following a delightful meal of tacos and rice, the next night she made a flavorful Creamy Cauliflower and Walnut Soup. Red onion, celery, carrot, cauliflower, stock made with fresh herbs from her garden, tofu, nutritional yeast flakes, walnuts, lemon juice from her garden tree, miso and salsa. No croutons were required, but she added some. Other options to consider are golden syrup, black pepper and smoked paprika to serve. I could eat this for lunch right now. (Melbourne, Australia)

Graziana of Erbe in Cucina incorporates some produce from her rooftop garden in this Rice Salad with Fried Vegetables. Carrots, green beans, peas and broccoli are cooked with rice and then seasoned with fried eggplant and zucchini, raw peppers, tomatoes and a few tablespoons of oil. This colorful combination of ingredients would go well with any meal and we all know vegetables are an important component of dinner. (Acireale (CT), Sicily, Italy)

Janet of The Taste Space creates this mouthwatering Thai Coconut and Corn Stew that would grace any table. Fried onion, garlic, fresh ginger, coriander seeds, salt and red pepper flakes are added with lemongrass, corn, veggie stock and coconut milk. The lemongrass is removed, the soup briefly pureed, and then the lemongrass is added again, along with more corn and red bell pepper. Stir in some lime juice and lime zest and garnish with cilantro. I will for sure be making this wholesome soup. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Liz of Suburban Tomato has an abundance of watercress that is threatening to take over her garden and instead of making yet another salad, she decided to come up with this healthy and fresh European Watercress Soup. The goodness of watercress is combined with onion, celery, leeks, potatoes, vegetable stock, cream and seasoned with salt and pepper. A thicker version of this pureed soup we are told would be a fabulous sauce for pumpkin gnocchi or pumpkin ravioli. (Melbourne, Australia)

Valerie of City Life Eats comes up with another lunch box meal that is nourishing and balanced. Here we have a Black Bean and Quinoa Salad. Served as a side, or a main course if you please, this delightful salad is made up of black beans, quinoa, fresh lime juice, scallions and herbs such as cilantro and basil. Gluten-Free, Vegan, Soy-Free, Nut-Free and Oil-Free, this recipe is perfect for those who have dietary restrictions. (Washington, DC, United States)

Our last entry is from Janice of Farmersgirl Kitchen. Fierce winds and non-stop rain, yet her little courgette plants perked up and she made this lovely Courgette Salad with Radish. Thin strips from the courgettes and finely sliced radishes, and dressed with Champagne vinegar, olive oil, honey, Colman's mustard powder and some salt and pepper. Sweet and sour and so tempting. (UK)

Jacqueline will be hosting the October edition of No Croutons Required. Check back at the beginning of the month for the challenge.


MapMaster said...

This time of year is great for both cooks and eaters. I love the roundup, and I think next year I'll try to grow some zucchinis so that I can try making the Hidden Zucchini Soup -- that's my vote.

Shaheen said...

Thank you so much for hosting Lisa and for the lovely write up. There are so many inspiring recipes here that i am off to check some of them. I'm especially jealous of theose homegrown courgettes aka zuchinni.

PS I know you got me down as mangocheeks, and thats fine, but I've changed my blogger name to my real name now x

Janice said...

I love the look of the Thai Coconut and Corn Stew from Janet at The Taste of Space.

Great round up so much fresh veg!

Priya said...

Lovely roundup, Janet's stew looks marvellous..

janet @ the taste space said...

I love the mix of summer and fall dishes! My vote goes to Johanna's Creamy Cauliflower and Walnut Soup!

bellini said...

So many absolutely tantalizing dishes Lisa!!!

Michelle Peters - Jones said...

Wow, those are some cool looking dishes, and I am so glad to see another courgette recipe. Thanks for the lovely round up Lisa.

I think my vote is going to go to Shaheen's Sage and Lentil soup, it sounds so warm and comforting.

vintagemom said...

Oh, this makes me so hungry :) I love the look of the Roast Butternut Squash soup with chili & cinnamon. What a fun way to give squash more kick! All of these recipes have some wonderful strong flavors... and I had to laugh when I realized that all three zucchini soups included cumin -- I guess it's a match made in food heaven :)

Lisa @ Allergy Free Vintage Cookery

Alea Milham said...

What a fun round up and challenge! I would like to vote for Lisa's Hidden Zucchini Soup, because at this point in my harvest I am looking for ways to hide zucchini and my kids would never suspect her soup. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm loving the Thai coconut stew. Sounds delicious.

Liz said...

I like the idea of Shaheen's Lentil & Sage soup so my vote goes to that. They all sound delicious though.