Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer Squash Soup

Husband-Tested Recipe from Alice's Kitchen

Have you ever made a soup of items you had left in your garden or in your fridge? That's what I did with this soup and it turned out great, so I wrote down what I did so that I could make it again. I made this soup with the peppers I had on hand, but any kind of peppers would be yummy. Soup recipes are pretty forgiving, so you really can't go wrong. What made this especially tasty was the croutons I made with leftover bread. (Directions at the bottom of this recipe.) I also added a big dollop of Eric's Pesto (recipe on this blog) on top and stirred it in to add a burst of summer flavor. Keeping pesto in the freezer is a handy way to make your dishes pop! All of the veggies, herbs and other ingredients in this soup can be found at Lost River Market & Deli and at the Orange County HomeGrown Farmers Markets.

1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
7-8 banana peppers, seeds removed, chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped
½ yellow pepper, chopped
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 very large yellow squash
3 cans chicken broth or vegetable broth
water
2 fresh bay leaves
1 bunch fresh thyme
5 whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon kosher salt

In large pot, heat olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and all peppers. Sautee until tender. Add squash, carrots and broth. Add enough water to barely cover veggies. Bring to a boil. Add thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt. Simmer until veggies are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and thyme bunch. Discard. Puree soup in blender or with a hand blender until smooth.
Garnish with a few large dollops of Eric’s Pesto, slices of cherry tomatoes and toasted garlic croutons. These garnishes not only make the soup look pretty, but they add a lot of flavor to the soup, especially the pesto and tomatoes.

I MADE THE CROUTONS OUT OF LEFTOVER BREAD. CUT THE BREAD INTO CUBES AND SAUTE THEM IN A BIT OF ROASTED GARLIC OIL OR OLIVE OIL WITH A CLOVE OF GARLIC TOSSED IN. ADD A LITTLE SALT AND PEPPER AND STIR UNTIL THE CUBES ARE TOASTED.

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