The geese have already started heading south.
I can hear them honk and take flight- it is the grandest sight to see them fly right by my little balcony, eye level with me. I love to see them in flight and, although some people think geese are a nuisance, I think they are beautiful! It seems that every night, during reading before bed, we hear the geese honking and we all run to the little balcony that adjoins the little girls’ room and watch the geese fly away from our second story view point. In some ways, it is bittersweet knowing the winter months are coming – but in other ways, it is okay. I love the snuggly-months – with warm fires blazing, snow falling freshly all around and of course, a delicious aroma of the daily soup simmering away on the woodstove … Mmmmm … homemade soup …
With the geese showing us that the cold winds are coming sooner rather than later, it means we all must take note. Winter is fast approaching. It is time to squirrel away all our goods from the garden – or local produce if you have not had a chance to grown your own – and prepare for the colder months that are inevitable.
This is one of my favorite aspects of homemaking!
[Well, I must sound like Dorcas of Larkrise to Candleford when she says "This is my one weakness" - as she says that about nearly everything in the series!] But this truly – canning and putting up food for winter – is one of my favorites of homemaking. It is a beautiful privilege to source out healthy foods, preserve it and provide it for your loved ones during times when nothing is growing locally, when leaving the comforts of your cozy home are daunting knowing the streets and roads are covered with ice and snow.
One of my favorite things to can is soup. It is just so incredibly comforting, handy and easy for quick, healthy meals. Soups and stews stretch a long way and can feed many on a little budget. Couple it with a lovely homemade loaf or two of bread and the meal is satisfying. Simmering it all day at the back of my cookstove, letting the delicious smell waft through the home … it is all signs of fall and winter months to come.
I am hoping to share a few of my favorite soup recipes with you over the month of September.
First off, in light of my tomato bumper crop, I will begin with a Hamburger Tomato Soup, compliments of my cute helpers …
Do not be fooled into thinking you need a small pot like the one in the photo- that was just for a “few” of the chopped vegetables. I used my big stock pot. The recipe made about 13 litres.
Here is the recipe:
Tomato Hamburger Soup
6-8 lbs of ground beef
8 chopped onions
8 minced garlic cloves
7 litres of tomato juice
2 tsp pepper
6-8 diced carrots
12 or so diced potatoes
salt and pepper to taste
Brown all of your ground beef, onions and garlic. Cook carrots & potatoes in your tomato juice. Add all ingredients together and simmer away for about 10 minutes. Ladle into clean mason jars, using new canning sealing lids. Process your soup in your pressure canner for 60 minutes at 10 lbs of pressure. (Always use a pressure canner for soups! If you do not have one, it is a great investment!)
When it is time to serve your soup, you may mix up a 1/4 cup or so of flour to about two cups of milk. Stir your mixture into your soup as it is heating up (you do not need to boil or cook your soup – just reheat). Feel free to add personal seasonings to your soup as well.
In the middle of winter, you will truly enjoy this lovely homemade meal, without stress or fuss.