Sunday, August 2, 2009
Zucchini Summer Soup
Hello folks. Carlie here.
(Because I know everyone likes to have an update on our little old miss, Carlie would like to report that she is feeling much better now that she is on a regular schedule of arthritis medicine. She's not limping anymore (despite her torn ACL - we call it her "sports injury"), and she seems to be a happy little camper. Man, I love that little dog.
And now on to the food.)
In anticipation of cooking more dishes in The Big Red Pot, I was googling around for some summer soup dishes and found this one, which looked just about perfect. (And since I've unabashedly taken remarkably similar pictures, I ought to give credit where credit is due. Its a lovely recipe from an even lovelier new-to-me blog.)
So, Zucchini Summer Soup it was. Luckily, I only needed to buy zucchini and carrots -- the rest of the ingredients were languishing in the bottom of my vegetable drawer in the fridge.
"Hurry, make us into soup, quick!"
I have learned a valuable lesson when making a dish for the first time, especially if its something like a big batch of soup. That lesson? Feed your husband first. I decided to try to make this on a weeknight, so we first went out and got Five Guys for Steven.
Back at the house by 8 PM, I set to work, chopping and dicing, happy as a clam.
I added Baby Bella mushrooms and one Roma tomato to the recipe, just because they were within grabbing-and-chopping distance. I adore how colorful this is.
After enough of my admiring the raw vegetables . . .
I finally made some soup. Here she is, just starting to simmer.
I left out the cayenne pepper and the chilies (mostly because I am a wuss), so we can't really classify this as a "spicy" summer soup. Its really more of a peppery minestrone.
And what is vegetable soup without some French bread for dipping?
I've made these loaves several times in the past few days. They are from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes book, and they are just delightfully perfect. Light and airy crust but still nice and chewy in the center.
Given the shape, I bet they would make a fantastic savory biscotti, too, now that I think about it.
How's our soup doing? Oh yes, reduced down and ready for the pearl couscous.
For my birthday, Mom gave me a rotary cheese grater. I have put it to good use, as you can see.
A little parmesan on top, some bread stacked on the side....
Dinnertime! (And it was only 10 PM! Fancy that!) I suffer for my soup.
Zucchini Summer Soup: (Adapted from: Sideoats and Scribbles)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 zucchini, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 6-8 Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced thin (optional)
- 1 Roma tomato, chopped (optional)
- 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup of chicken broth
- 3 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
(Sidenote: I really should have used fresh herbs from the garden. In a moment of laziness, I did not. Also, it was dark outside and I didnt feel like stumbling around the porch in the pitch blackness with my garden shears.)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (if desired)
- 1/2 cup of Israeli (pearl) couscous
Place chopped zucchini, carrots, onion, garlic, mushrooms, and tomato in heavy stock pot. Saute with olive oil for 5-7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to get tender. Add water, chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, and all the spices (except for the salt). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the soup has reduced, add dry pearl couscous and simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir in salt (if desired) and serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
I made a huge batch, ate soup three times that week for lunch, then froze the rest. I figure come October or so, I'm going to wish I remembered what summer tasted like, and this will be a good defrosted reminder.