Quick meals from your garden


With the garden full of delicious fresh choices, I thought it appropriate to talk about quick soups and garden-fresh casserole creations this week.

In recent weeks, the garden has produced a wide variety of vegetables that are easy to assemble and cook, making for a creative, healthy meal for lunch or dinner. This selection is healthy, fresh and inexpensive.

Last week I featured a simple vegetable soup with chicken. This week’s recipe uses only garden veggies.

The ease and simplicity of preparing meals at home is important. For me, the simpler the better and tastier.

An unknown author said: “He who grows a garden never grows old.”

And I couldn’t agree more with that.

Jacqueline Iannazzo-Corser is a writer for The Monroe News, writing about food and recipes. She is a chef, co-owner of the Public House, Culinary Specialist at Arthur Lesow Community Center’s Opportunity Center, and Associate Professor of Culinary Arts at Monroe County Community College. She can be reached at [email protected]

Easy Vegetable Garden Soup

6 to 8 servings


  • 1 to 1½ onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1½ pounds garden potato
  • 1 to 2 large carrots
  • 1½ to 2 medium zucchini
  • 5 to 6 medium tomatoes
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 3 to 4 cobs of corn
  • 10 cups vegetable broth
  • Add fresh herbs like basil and parsley, if you like


cutting vegetables –

  • Dice the onion(s).
  • Potatoes – cubes, carrots – round, zucchini – round or long medium strips, tomato – cho
  • Clean green beans and cut to desired size
  • Cut kernels from the corn husk
  • chop the garlic

Cooking 1-pot style –

  • In a large stockpot over low-medium heat, sauté the onion(s) with water or a little oil for 6-7 minutes.
  • When the onions are translucent, add the chopped garlic and potato and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Add the broth, carrot, zucchini, tomato, green beans, and corn. Increase heat and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes (or until potatoes are tender).
  • Chop desired herbs and stir in.
  • Cook until all ingredients are al dente and not mushy.

Notes: If interested, see Knife Cutting and Techniques. You can also add different veggies to this garden soup creation.

Easy garden cream from broccoli

For 6 to 8 people


  • 2 pounds fresh garden broccoli
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup cream
  • ½ cup grated or sliced ​​parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 TEA SPOONS. Garlic and onion powder or fresh
  • 1 teaspoon. of thyme


  • In a stockpot, add the chicken broth, salt and pepper to taste, onion powder, garlic powder, and thyme
  • stir
  • Add the broccoli (I just cut it up into small pieces instead of pureeing it)
  • Bring to a boil over high heat
  • Reduce the heat to low-medium, then cover. Cook until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes
  • Stir in the whipped cream and parmesan
  • Cook just until thoroughly heated
  • surcharge

Hint: You can play with the herbs – add different ones to create your specialty.

eggplant casserole

For 10 to 12 people


  • 2-2 ½ pounds eggplant
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions – chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 medium tomatoes (peeled and chopped to taste)
  • 2 sticks of celery – chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or basil
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter – melted
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese


  • Slice and peel eggplants into 1/2-inch slices, then rinse in a colander
  • Salt and pepper both sides and place on paper towels to drain excess water
  • Place eggplants in a pan and sauté in olive oil until lightly browned
  • Add onions and zucchini, then cook 2 to 3 minutes
  • Add garlic, then cook 1 minute longer
  • Add tomatoes, celery, parsley, basil and pepper
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low
  • Cover and simmer for 10 minutes
  • Take off the heat
  • Into a greased 13×9-in. baking pan
  • Mix the breadcrumbs, Romano cheese and butter and sprinkle the mixture on top
  • Bake uncovered at 350° for 15 minutes
  • Sprinkle with mozzarella
  • Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted

Zucchini Squash Casserole

For 8 to 10 people


  • 3 to 4 medium zucchini, washed and cut into ¼-inch rounds
  • 3 to 4 medium yellow squashes, washed and cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 4 to 5 medium tomatoes, washed and sliced ​​to taste
  • 3 TBSP. olive oil (more if needed)
  • 1¼ tsp. Italian spice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¾ to 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs (panko style)
  • 2½ tbsp. Basil (fresh or canned)


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Brush the bottom of the casserole dish with some olive oil
  • Stack the zucchini, pumpkin and tomato slices alternately in a casserole dish
  • Season the vegetables with Italian spices, salt and pepper
  • Drizzle olive oil lightly over the vegetables
  • Sprinkle breadcrumbs over everything
  • Cover with parchment and place foil on top (place parchment between food and foil)
  • Bake covered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes
  • Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes until golden and bubbly.
  • Take out of the oven
  • Sprinkle with basil
  • The casserole should rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Note: You can play with pumpkin varieties and add onions and garlic if you wish.


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