It may seem a bit soon to begin planning your garden, but spring will be upon us in no time and seed starting time is right around the corner. If you've always wanted to begin a garden, but have felt you don't have enough yard space to make that happen, this could be your year! May I suggest my good friend, Rosemary Hansen's e-book, "Grow a Salad In Your City Apartment"? Even if you're in an apartment setting or smaller yard, as is so common in urban areas, you still have growing options. Rosemary knowledgably walks you through in great detail explaining the "why's" and the "how's" and truly sets you up for success, all beautifully presented.
She asked me to write a short excerpt for her book of my experience with square foot gardening (a form of container gardening ideal for smaller spaces) and I've added my favorite borscht recipe (so. darn. good.) since I mention it in the excerpt. I hope you enjoy!
1 lb pork sausage or bacon
2 quarts bone broth (beef is best, but chicken is good too)
3 medium beets, peeled and grated
4 carrots, peeled and grated
3 medium red potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 Tbsp butter or olive oil
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 6 oz jar tomato paste
½ medium head cabbage, cored and shredded
1 8 oz jar tomato puree
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp dried dill
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp honey
Sour cream for topping
Remove sausage from it’s casings (if necessary) and cook sausage in Dutch oven until no pink remains, breaking it into smaller segments. Add bone broth to cooked sausage and bring to boil. Once boiling add beets. When color begins to fade from the beets, add carrots and potatoes, cooking until tender. Next add cabbage and tomato puree. In the meantime, heat the butter/oil in a smaller skillet and cook sliced onion until tender. Stir tomato paste into onion, ladling in a little of the broth to aid in mixing. Transfer onion mixture to the soup pot. Turn off heat, add honey, minced garlic and dried dill, cover and let sit for five minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve with a dollop of sour cream.
Although prep time is longer, this recipe can feed a family of five for 2-3 meals. It makes a huge portion - almost a whole Dutch oven full of soup. I have a food processor and sometimes I use it and sometimes I just grate everything by hand. The flavor is so good and uses so many healthy veggies. I always puree it for my babies to eat. My middle child likes it in a mug and sucks it up with a glass straw.