Yesterday I made a soup for dinner. I wanted to experiment with the herb Rosemary. I have a rosemary plant overwintering in the basement. It started growing at first...very thready and frail little new tops on all the branches. Now it has acclimated to the basement and the growth has stopped, but it is very much alive. I wanted to know more about this herb that smells so piney.The rosemary plant is a shrubby thing that can grow to be as tall as five feet, if you let it. The stems are covered with slender, inch-long, pine-like leaves. Rosemary flowers aren't very showy..the plant is mostly grown for the foliage. Humans have believed that rosemary can improve memory, which is why it was so often used in weddings and funerals. A bride might wear a wreath made from the rosemary plant to help the couple remember their wedding vows. Mourners would also throw sprigs of rosemary into graves, a symbol that the dead would not be forgotten.I have painted lots of floral things. I love to paint rosemary in viney or wreath shaped floral designs. I have found that rosemary is a great herb to grow in pots. I brought mine in last fall, because it was doing so well. Rosemary is a heat-loving plant and doesn't deal with cold very well. A few things a rosemary plant needs is good drainage and air circulation. Re-pot your rosemary once a year to keep it healthy.If you re-pot your rosemary once a year, water it every other day, and bring it indoors when the weather turns cold, my gardening book says that it should do well for you. My first experience with rosemary was many years ago, when my husband bought me a plant shaped like a wreath. It smelled just like a pine tree. I took care of it and planted it outside. Sadly, it died over winter. I didn't know that you could use it in cooking, until my garden club met at my house and one of the ladies told me about it. I don't use it very much as it is a strong herb. But in Mediterranean recipes it tastes so good.
Here's the soup recipe...Snowy Day Soup.... ALA Balisha
1 lb. kielbasa cut into circles
3 carrots crinkle cut into same size rings
2 parsnips cut the same size...I had these leftover
1 lg onion chopped in a rough chop
3 stalks celery chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped small...add this last.
Brown the kielbasa in a large skillet. When they are browned take them out and put in the vegetables ...season with salt and pepper. Toss them around the pan. Joe was laughing at me trying to toss the frying pan ingredients like the chefs do on TV...without tossing them all over the stove. I still can't get it.Add a little chicken broth to the pan...just enough to barely cover them. Put the lid on and simmer until veggies are tender. Get your big soup kettle out and put the kielbasa in it. Add the veggies to the meat and pour in 2 cartons of chicken broth. (could use beef, but this was all I had)Add...1 can diced tomatoes, 1 can butter beans (could use any kind of beans...we like butter beans) 1/2 can spinach, 1 can of corn, 3 Yukon gold potatoes, cut in same size as carrots, a small handful of barley, then add 2 c water, and then the seasonings.....a couple of TBS of a good beef base, several shakes of garlic salt, lots of cracked pepper, several shakes of dried parsley, a couple shakes of red pepper flakes, 2 tsp of sea salt, a big pinch of rosemary. Just taste this as you go to get the flavor just right. I didn't drain any of the veggies. You can toss in any leftover veggies that you have in the frig. It turned out simply delicious. Joe had two bowls.