September 7, 2010 by Dana
I’ve been hearing a lot of people complaining about how it’s still so hot outside. They are asking for the cooler weather. They are wishing summer would just end already. They are ready for the fall.
If you are one of those people, listen up, because I’m only going to ask nicely this one time: Please stop. (See? Wasn’t that nice? I even said please. Next time I won’t be so polite.)
If you are one of those crazy people wishing for the fall, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt. Because even I, someone who is such a summer loving person, can see why wishing for fall might seem tempting. The temperature is a little less extreme, the leaves turn beautiful colors, and pumpkin pie is abundant. Sounds good so far.
The problem is that you’re being shortsighted. (Sorry, I don’t usually like to call names, but this is an extreme situation.) You see a season filled with football, Halloween candy, and apple picking. But you know what you’re forgetting? Fall leads to winter.
Now, I’m a big girl. I can deal with fall. But winter? No way. I will not accept wishing for a season with minimal sunlight, frigid temperatures, and runny noses. I just won’t.
So in order to counter all that negative energy, I decided to make a dish that celebrates the summer with the quintessential summer produce: zucchini. Consider this my official offering to the weather gods – please keep the summer here for as long as possible!
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper (seeds, stems and ribs removed), chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 pounds zucchini, chopped
4 slices day old bread, chopped
48 oz chicken broth
½ cup water
2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
This recipe is based on this one from Simply Recipes. I adjusted the measurements based on what I had in the apartment, and adjusted the flavors based on my preferences. For the stale bread, just use whatever you have lying around. I happened to have two hamburger rolls in the freezer, so I used them.
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and jalapeno pepper, and sauté for 4-5 minutes until the onions are translucent but not browned. Add the garlic and zucchini. Sauté for another 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle with salt.
2. Add the bread, broth, and water, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
3. Remove from heat. Add the basil and Italian seasoning. Purée soup in a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) until smooth, working in batches if necessary.
4. Return the soup to the pot and add the lemon juice, salt and pepper, to taste. If desired, simmer for an additional 10 minutes to thicken.
Yields four servings.
I loved this soup! The jalapeno is not overwhelming and just gives a little kick. I had originally planned to freeze half, but ended up bringing it to work for lunch four days in a row without getting bored… now that’s impressive!