Sunday, July 27, 2008

Locally Grown Soup

First things first, Carol and Calvin brought an excellent angel food cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream! It was all we could do not to have dessert first! Thanks C&'re welcome here any time!

And now...about the soup...

The Southerner and I are trying hard to eat locally grown food. Despite his well-earned nickname, Black Thumb, he decided to become a gardener this year. In turn, I agreed to cook anything he grew and to actually taste it too, even if I was already positive that I hated it. Naturally, like most people, there are things I hated as a child that I love to eat now. Mushrooms come to mind. Also avocados. And onions. And even leafy greens. However, as my mother is quick to attest to, I have NEVER, EVER liked zucchini and there is a time I would've bet my life on the fact that I would NEVER eat it voluntarily. But did that stop The Southerner? Not even!

He joined the community gardens and has his very own plot. That sounded good. But then he did something rash! He joined the Squash Co-op. Now let me tell you something about squash, just in case you don't know. No offense to The Southerner, but even Black Thumb could grow squash. They're like those pods in the body snatchers movies. They just keep growing and growing. And let me tell you, things are starting to come in fast! By "things" I mostly mean zucchini. If you've ever had a garden, you know that even one zucchini plant (let alone twenty hills of them shared among only SIX people crazy enough to join a squash co-op) can quickly overwhelm a person as they go from small and edible to the size of a sumo wrestler's thigh practically overnight. Yellow squash are not far behind in the productivity category either. That's how I found myself the proud owner of about eight zucchini and yellow squashes (is squashes a word? And yes, I had to learn to spell zucchini just for this blog) and desperately in need of a way to get rid of them fast prepare them in a delicious and wholesome manner.

I found a recipe that sounded good (if you left out the squash) and that's what we had at Sunday Soup today (no, I didn't leave it out). And I am here to tell you that I was wrong and The Southerner is right. Zucchini is not the scourge of the earth. In fact, it's quite tasty. I am sure this is because of my fabulous cooking abilities the fact that The Southerner grew this squash.

Oh, and might I add that the Walla Walla onions came from the farm just down the road, the stock was homemade, and the sour cream came from somewhere local-ish. So all in all, it was a pretty local soup.

I'm way too lazy to go get the cookbook and type up the recipe correctly, but since Carol thinks this is in the running for the best soup so far (carrot being a contender) I'll give you the gist of it here.

A large onion, chopped, sauteed in butter until translucent.
Add a teaspoon or two of curry powder and some salt.
Add a couple of pounds of sliced zucchini and/or yellow squash.
Just cover with vegetable stock.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer.
Cook half an hour or so, mash with a potato masher and then blend with a hand blender.
Just before serving, add 1/2 cup of sour cream and stir until dissolved.
Season with salt and eat up!


When I met The Southerner, I was amazed at the sheer amount of food he can put away (especially considering he's so skinny!). In fact, one of his other nicknames is No Dog (short for No Need For a Dog) and his motto is, "Another empty bowl." That said, there were two things he would not eat. Meats and beets. So...I was just wondering if anyone has a good recipe for borscht?

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