For me, winter cooking is all about slow cooking. I like to let the food take its time on the stove or in the oven. Roasting your vegetable harvest is a great way to cook in winter – it sweetens and caramelises their fl avours. Just throw everything into a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, add some herbs and seasoning then pop it all into a hot oven.
You can roast just about anything:root vegetables such as parsnips and carrots, onions and garlic, even broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. And roasted vegies make the perfect accompaniment for roasted meats, or try them as a delicious midweek meal on their own. I make extra that I store in the fridge and then add to other dishes such as frittata, pies, risotto, pasta or tortillas, or simply served with brown rice and my favourite dhal.
Another winter warming favourite of mine is soup, the ultimate one-pot wonder. Vegetable soup is easy as long as you start with a good base: onion, leek, celery, carrot and tomatoes cooked until softened, then add extra vegetables of choice and cover with stock. Throw in longer cooking veg such as potato and broccoli stalks first, and then add faster cookers such as broccoli tops and leafy greens towards the end so they retain their colour. It’s worth making your own vegetable and meat stock in advance and storing them in the fridge or freezer. If you like your soups spicy, just add your favourite spices to the base ingredients or even a spoonful of green curry paste.
Roast your choice of vegies, then cover with stock in saucepan. (If you haven’t got onion with your roasted veg then chop and fry onions, leek and garlic beforehand.) Simmer for 10 minutes or until vegies are warmed through. Keep it chunky or blend until smooth. If too thick, add more stock. You can also add chopped tomatoes and pasta for a roasted vegetable minestrone.
From ABC Organic Gardener magazine July/August 2014 issue
Recipe: Julie Ray 'Harvest' chef ABC Organic Gardener magazine