Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cooking: Soup is my one true love

We went to a couple of parties this weekend in our neighborhood.
They were really nice. However, we ate pretty much nothing at either one of them.
A few bites of dip and some delicious cookies. 
Needless to say, we did not get enough to eat.

That usually leads to cheese and crackers at about midnight.

 So by Sunday, we were not only starving but in need of some healthy food.

I always crave soup when I have over indulged. And bread. 
So,while my bread ended up in the garbage, my soup was on time.
Garlicky and healthy, I made some pretty good tomato and zucchini soup.

If you are under the weather or recovering from too much fun, this is a great soup for you.
I served the carnivores meatballs to go with theirs. 
I had some in the freezer from when I made them last week and cooked them in the oven and then threw them in the soup. They were devoured, so I assume they were good.You could also add shredded chicken or even bacon if you were so inclined. 
As for me, it was perfect. Much like my crusty Le Creuset pot.
Tomato and Zucchini Soup

1 onion chopped
Olive oil
3-4 zucchini chopped
2 tsp garlic (or more if you are like me and love it)
1 large can diced tomato
1  large can crushed tomatoes
1 container vegetable broth (4 cups)
2 cups raw spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
crushed red pepper
Parmesan cheese 
 In a heavy bottomed soup pot, add a few glugs of olive oil and cook onions a few minutes over medium heat. Add zucchini and about a teaspoon of salt. Cook until zucchini starts to release liquid and onions are transparent. Add 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning and garlic. Cook for a minute, stirring then add tomatoes and broth. Reduce heat and simmer about 1 hour, adjusting salt and adding pepper as needed. Add spinach and crushed red pepper (if you like a little heat, add a teaspoon if not, add 1/2 teaspoon). Cook until spinach is wilted.  Remove from heat and scoop about 2/3 of soup into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and then return to pot. You should have some chunkiness in your soup.  Serve with a dusting of Parmesan cheese. Makes about 10 servings. Yum-o!

*** A few tips: 
  • Alchemy Spice has no rival. Buy it at Whole Foods or order it online. All the kinds are wonderful.
  • Salt when you cook your onions as salt makes veggies release their juices. Also, it gives your dish a deeper flavor 
  • Adding the garlic right before you add liquid is the best to keep it from burning. Garlic is very fragile.
  • Blending this soup makes it creamier without adding the unneeded fat. Don't blend it all, though, you need the chunks.

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