Friday, June 22, 2012

perfect summer squash soup

     This morning was one of those perfect summer mornings.  I got up early, drank a little coffee and headed out the door to visit Farmers Market before work.  Smooth and cool savory soup with a slice of toasted herbed bread on my mind...  sounded so good for a hot day.  And that's just what I set out to make.

     I always forget how much I love going to Farmers Market early morning, before the rush of the world pushes  in... it's a mostly quiet, peaceful experience.  The bins are all full of fresh produce, ready to start their day, and it's all open for my choosing.  This morning, the summer squash called to me...

     I have to admit, until recently I had not been a huge fan of summer squash.  Don't get me wrong.. it's not that I didn't eat them, just that I didn't crave for them the way I have ever since our love affair with zucchini carpaccio began not that long ago. 

     Veggies in hand, I set to chopping.

     With a little assistance from my ever-present helpers...

     And lickety-split, onion, zucchinni, yellow squash, red bell, carrot and tomato were ready to make the perfect cool, Summer Squash Soup.

     Simmered a while and before you know it, they were tender and ready to be pureed.  And my kitchen smelled like heaven.

     Time to blend away.

     And oooooohhhhh that's so so so so so so good!  Served chilled or at room temperature, garnished with a bit of squash and red pepper, slice of bread on the side.  YES.

perfect summer squash soup

1/2 cup olive oil
2 onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 fat cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
4 ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
3 zucchini, coarsely chopped
5 yellow squash, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large red bell, seeded and coarsely chopped
kosher salt
2 cups vegetable stock
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
freshly ground black pepper
finely chopped zucchini and red bell for garnish

Heat oil in a large dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and saute until softened, 5 minutes.  Add garlic, remaining veggies, and 3 1/2 teaspoons salt, and saute about 15 minutes more. 

Add stock, vinegar, fennel seeds and freshly ground black pepper, and bring to a simmer, cook uncovered until vegetables are extremely tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly. 

Using an immersion blender (or regular blender, in batches), puree the soup.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot, warm, or chilled.  Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish and enjoy!

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