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Welcome to my writing project. Consider these pages as field notes of places I've been, plans for future adventures, and general observations. 

Summer Squash Soup

Summer Squash Soup

Summer in Chattanooga has affirmed that there's truly nothing better than fresh summer produce. The loveliest part of our summer has been joining a CSA through Main Street Farmers' Market. Every Wednesday I pick up a bucket of fresh vegetables and a bouquet of flowers at the market. Then I walk down the street to the bakery, the butcher, and the coffee roaster to stock our pantry and meat drawer. Not only does it feel wonderful to support local farmers and businesses, it's given me cause to spruce up my weekly meal-planning by featuring vegetables that I wouldn't ordinarily purchase at the grocery store. Such as cabbage and squash (I fell prey to mayonnaise-y slaws and mushy steamed squash as a kid). See above the haul of squash from our CSA bucket this week. What's a zero-squash girl to do with all those gourds?

Last week, I came upon this pretty recipe from Naturally Ella for summer squash soup. I made a couple of tweaks to suit personal preferences and I love the way it turned out. All of the ingredients are very accessible, and it takes very little prep work. It made an excellent Saturday lunch before Rob set off for the golf course.

This soup also gives me an excuse to use my favorite kitchen work-horse, my Lodge cast iron dutch oven, during the summer! Sure, you can find beautiful Le Creuset pots, but I'm partial to my dutch blue dutch oven made just up the road in South Pittsburg, TN (plus, it's a fraction of the cost).

The other tool I introduced to the kitchen with this recipe was our new Cuisinart Elite food processor, a beautiful beast that was given to us as a wedding gift. It has a large capacity, is quiet, and makes the soup turn out all pretty like this:

Ready to try it? Here goes!

Serves 2 for a meal, 4 for a starter

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup minced yellow onion
1 cup peeled and diced red potato
1/4 cup diced carrot
1 clove of garlic
3/4 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (extra for garnish)
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
dash of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup of dry white wine
2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
salt, to taste
parsley, chopped, for garnish
Greek yogurt, for garnish

STEPS

  1. Heat a dutch oven or similar heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and the onions. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until they are fragrant and translucent.
  2. Add the squash, potatoes, and carrot. Cook until the squash softens, about another 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the minced garlic, cook for a minute, then add in all of the spices. Cook for a minute to let the flavors meld.
  4. Pour in the wine, scraping up any yummy bits on the bottom of the pot. Once some of the wine has cooked out, add the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Allow the contents to cook for about 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
  5. Puree the soup in a food processor. Return the soup to the pot and heat on low. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Divide into bowls and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt, a dusting of paprika, and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
 

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