Spring became autumn and summer only appeared for a few days this year. The Mountain Parrots are back in my orchard gorging on the fruit faster than it can be picked. Even though the summer season has not been a good one for many food crops the garden and orchard are still bountiful.
Autumn is the time to harvest and preserve fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit for the store cupboard. I have been busy harvesting my herbs. After a good prune I strip all the foliage to dry, freeze and preserve in olive oil or vinegar.
Lots of good homemade stock can be preserved in jars or frozen for later use. Vegetable stock is best to preserve and it makes a good base for any soup or stew. Eating low FODMAP does not have to mean bland stock, and the flavour can be delicious if you use spices with your herbs and vegetables.
My recipes all start with a large bouquet of garni, using parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, bay leaves, lovage, celeriac tops, spring onion tops and chives. Place all of these herbs in a large pot with 4 litres of water and add a few spices of your choice to increase the flavour. A few slices of fresh ginger, 2 or three each of whole cloves, allspice berries, cardamon pods, coriander seeds, whole black pepper, star anise, cinnamon sticks, a couple of whole fresh red chillies and salt to taste. Add a whole fresh carrot, a few green leek tops and some summer savoury if you have any. At this point you can add any odd amounts of left over fresh vegetables you may have forgotten about in the vegetable draw of your refrigerator.
Now place a lid on your pot, bring to the boil and simmer for at least 2 hours. Allow to cool then strain your liquid off, pour into freezer containers or place in bottles ready for preserving.
Soup recipies will be my next blog.