The Odessa Record -

Fall weather, what are your favorite recipes?

Series: Welcome to my Kitchen | Story 17

October 10, 2019

Fall weather has ended production in most Odessa gardens. Time to use up the last fruits and vegetables you braved the cold wind to rescue before the killing frost. My mother would always make an “End of Season Vegetable Soup”, which is essentially the same as “Sweet Bell Pepper Soup”, the recipe I tried this past weekend. The addition of bacon adds an extra savory flavor.

Sweet Bell Pepper Soup

6 large green, red or yellow sweet bell peppers

6 cups grated zucchini or yellow squash, peeled if skin is tough

6 cups chopped onion

6 cups chopped tomatoes, Roma are best, peeled if desired

6 cups chicken broth

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 pound bacon, cooked crisp, drained and crumbled

Additional ingredients:

2 cups corn kernels

2-3 cups chopped broccoli or cauliflower

2 cups sliced celery

1 large turnip or rutabaga, chopped

3 cups sliced carrots

2 cups green beans

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

Additional chicken broth as needed


1 large jalapeno pepper, chopped fine

Combine the peppers, zucchini, onion, tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper in a large kettle or slow cooker. Stove top, bring to a boil, then add any of the remaining ingredients you are using. Simmer until vegetables are tender and zucchini blends in, stirring occasionally. Add additional chicken broth if needed for desired consistency. Note: If using the jalapeno pepper, add along with the sweet peppers. Add the bacon just before serving. Yield: about 1 gallon soup.

If using a slow cooker, combine all ingredients except the bacon and cook 6 hours on high or 10 hours on low.

Note: This soup freezes well, adding the bacon after thawing and reheating.

You may have noted, there are no potatoes in the above recipe. You may add potatoes if you like, but Smashed Potato Soup is a great way to use some of those small potatoes you have in abundance, if you grow your own potatoes. Otherwise, a bag of baby roasting potatoes will work.

Smashed Potato Soup

3 Tbsp bacon drippings, olive oil or melted butter

3 pounds small (golf ball size) potatoes, washed, trimmed and pierced with a fork.

1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 to 3/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 tsp ground black pepper, divided

4-6 cups chicken broth

3 green onions, chopped

2 cups half and half or 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

6 slices bacon, cooked crisp, drained and crumbled

1 ear, pan grilled corn on the cob, optional

Coat a 11 x 17 inch rimmed baking pan with bacon grease. Add potatoes in a single layer.

Sprinkle garlic, onion, and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper over the potatoes. Roast at 350 degrees 20 to 30 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.

Remove from oven, and using a potato mashed or the bottom of a heavy glass, smash each potato flat to about 1/2 inch thick. Add 1 cup water to the pan and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and loosen potatoes and browned bits with a spatula. Carefully pour the potato mixture into a large soup kettle or slow cooker crock. Stir in chicken broth, green onions, and grilled corn if using. Simmer until onions and corn are tender. Stir in half and half and heat through. Add bacon just before serving.

If using a slow-cooker, combine all ingredients except half and half and bacon. Cook on low 6 hours. Stir in half and half and bacon just before serving. Yield: about 8-10 cups soup.

To pan grill corn, place 2 tablespoons bacon drippings in a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add corn on the cob and cook, turning often until browned and softened. Cool slightly and cut kernels from cob. Set aside to add to soup.

Sue Flink shared a recipe for Pistachio-Basil Pesto via the Welcome to My Kitchen Facebook page. Peggy Salo shared her tip of using pine nuts in place of pistachios if there are nut allergies. This savory mixture is yummy on your favorite buttered pasta.

Pistachio-Basil Pasta

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup shelled pistachios

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Place garlic in food processor, pulse until chopped. Add pistachios, basil, lemon juice and salt, pulse until nuts are finely chopped. Add olive oil gradually through food chute and process until well combined. Add cheese and pulse 2 or 3 times. Yield: about 1 cup.

Note: The mixture may be frozen in ice cub trays or by scooping tablespoonful’s on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Juli Weishaar, shared her recipe for the Coconut Bread she donated to the Museum Bake Sale at Deutschesfest, on her Facebook page Milk Bottle Quilt Co. She gave permission to share it here and our Facebook page, Welcome to My Kitchen. My favorite way to enjoy this bread is to lightly toast.

Coconut Bread

4 eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp coconut extract

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk

3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup flaked coconut


1 cup chopped walnuts


1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp water

1 tsp coconut extract

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, add sugar, oil and extract and salt. Stir in buttermilk. Beat in flour along with baking powder and baking soda. Fold in coconut, and chopped nuts if using.

Spoon batter into 2 greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pans. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven, leave bread in pans. Run a knife around the edges and pour on the following hot syrup, letting the syrup run down the sides. Let stand 4 hours before removing from pans. Yield: 2 loaves.

To make syrup, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in coconut extract. Pour over coconut bread.

Notes: Juli uses disposable foil loaf pans. She also notes, you can use 1 tsp each coconut and almond extract for a change of flavor.

Share your favorite recipes by sending them to: Welcome to My Kitchen, c/o The Odessa Record, P.O. Box 458, Odessa, WA, 99159, email or drop them in the Welcome to My Kitchen mail tin in The Odessa Record office. Follow Welcome to My Kitchen on Facebook. Rake fall leaves into your garden space and mulch in for added nutrients.


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