Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tomato Zucchini Soup ~ 2 ways, and Cheese Toasts

Tomato Zucchini Soup ~ 2 Ways and Cheese Toasts
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate by Mari
Recipe provides 8 to 10 servings
1/4 cup good, flavorful olive oil
1 cup diced carrots (about 2 medium size)
4 cups zucchini (about 3-4 medium size)
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup diced yellow or white onion
1 cup diced celery
6 cloves garlic (peeled and smashed)
2 to 3 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, stripped from stem
2 bay leaves
pinch red pepper flakes
4 cups crushed Italian peeled tomatoes, (approx. Two 28-ounce cans)
4 cups water or chicken stock/broth
2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
2 cups heavy cream or whole milk (optional)
[You can reduce the amount of milk or cream, or omit it entirely for a Dairy-free soup]
For the chunky soup only: a splash of red wine or balsamic vinegar, shaved parmesan for garnish.

1. Choose a large stockpot with a covered lid, warm olive oil over medium-
high heat. Cook the vegetables with garlic, herbs and pepper flakes until
tender (about 10 to 12 minutes), covered with lid. Stir frequently so they do not brown or burn.
2. Reduce heat to medium, remove lid and add tomatoes and 4 cups of water or chicken broth/stock, bring soup to a boil, then simmer for 20
3. Season soup with salt and pepper remove bay leaves and taste for seasonings; adjust if necessary. Remove pot from heat.
4. At this point you may continue with the recipe to blend all of the soup, or half of it to make a smooth soup; or

For chunky soup: Add a splash of the vinegar, sprinkle with with shaved parmesan as garnish (Don't add milk or cream to the chunky version if you add the vinegar as it will curdle.)

For smooth soup: Carefully ladle half of the soup into blender, place lid on blender container, cover with a kitchen towel to avoid hot splatters, and blend for 2 or 3 minutes with the milk or cream (if using.) Serve hot.

Cheese Toasts:
Ingredients for each serving of toast:
2 slices sourdough bread
2 tablespoon creamy goat cheese
1 teaspoon butter

Spread goat cheese on one of the bread slices top with other slice to make a sandwich. Spread thin layer of soft butter on both surfaces of the outside of sandwich. Grill in a warm skillet or on a griddle (over medium heat), butter should gently sizzle as it is placed in the skillet or on the griddle. Cook for about 2 minutes per side until golden brown on both sides.  Remove from pan and allow to cool for a minute or two (for easier slicing), remove crusts from edges and cut each sandwich into 2 or 3 slices. Serve warm.
Enjoy! ~Mari

Recipes adapted from: 

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