Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Zucchini, Zucchini, Zucchini -- Some Recipes For Our Abundant Friend

This time of year when I go to our local Farmer's Market, one of the vegetables that is spilling over in abundance is the lovely zucchini.  Nutritious, versatile, it is a shame that it is not in season in our area all year long.  For the time being, however, we shall make full use of it.  Today I have two zucchini soup recipes to share with you - one is creamy and the other is stock based.  Before we get to the soups, I want to share a quick recipe that I made up last week.
Robin's Italian Zucchini
I sliced two zucchini into about 1/8" slices and coated them with olive oil.  Then I sprinkled them with garlic chips.  (I highly recommend the Organic Roasted Garlic Chips from Garlic Festival Foods.  I use them for everything!  Their garlic mustard is also to die for!   )
I grilled the zucchini slices about 2 minutes on each side and removed them from the grill. 

Then I spread a layer of basil garlic tomato sauce in the bottom of a 12"x12" dish and began layering the zucchini slices, tomato sauce, and shredded mozzarella cheese, finishing with a layer of the cheese.  I covered the dish with foil and baked in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.     We had this as a side dish with grilled talapia and grilled sweet potatoes, and it was delicious.  I hope you like it.  You may even add ingredients that will even make it better -- please leave a comment and let me know!  Now, on to the soups!

Creamy Potato and Zucchini Soup With Garlic Croutons
2 tsp Olive Oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 lb.  potatoes, peeled and diced
2 c. 1% or skim milk
1  1/2 c. vegetable or chicken stock
2 zucchini unpeeled, grated
1 tsp nutmeg
hot pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
salt and pepper
grated sharp cheddar cheese
Croutons - Ingredients:
2 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 sheets of lavash bread

Heat oil in a deep heavy saucepan over med-high heat.  Add onion, cook until soft.  Add  garlic and cook for 2 minutes.  Add potatoes and stock, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.  Add milk, zucchini, nutmeg and pepper flakes.  Cook on low for another 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.  Puree soup, then return to pot and stir over low heat until heated through.  Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with cheese and serve with croutons.

Croutons - Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.  Combine oil and garlic in a small bowl.  Brush lavash bread with oil, fold bread in half and tear along fold.  Tear the bread until you have long strips 3/4" wide.  Place on trays  and bake 10 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Recipe Courtesy of --

Note -- Personally, I would just use store-bought croutons -- This is just too much bother for me.  I had no idea what lavash bread was, so I looked it up.  This is the story -- Lavash is a soft, thin flatbread widely used in Iran, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.  Dough is rolled out flat and slapped against the hot walls of a wood oven or a "tandoor".  While flexible like a tortilla when fresh, lavash dries out quickly and becomes brittle and hard.

You learn something new every hour.  However, I would still use the store-bought croutons.  


3 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 medium potatoes, cubed
1 sliced onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 tbsp. fresh parsley
1 tsp. oregano
6 cups beef stock
1 large tomato, cored, blanched, peeled, diced
1 lb. zucchini, diced
2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated

In a large saucepan, heat oil and brown garlic.  Discard garlic.  Add potatoes, stir to coat, and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add onion, parsley and oregano, and cook until onions are softened.  Add stock, tomatoes, celery, zucchini, and salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until zucchini is tender.  Pour soup into individual bowls and sprinkle freshly ground pepper and 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese over each serving.

Recipe courtesy of:

In the Comments section following this recipe, several people indicated that they felt that the amount of beef stock should be cut back to 4 or 5 cups instead of 6 cups.  Also, some people stated that they eliminated or reduced the celery.  (I would be one of the people who eliminated the celery, since I do not care for it).

I hope that you enjoy these soups.  Be Well, Well Fed, and Happy.


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