July 11, 2009

Attack of the Giant Zucchinis

First, Pat gave me a larger than average zucchini from her garden along with a recipe for cream of zucchini soup...which I lost.

Then, she brought me two more zucchinis.

Even BIGGER zucchini!

Humbly, I took the smaller one home to make something for a company potluck that could be eaten at room temperature as the office microwave is not really all that capable. Food & Wine magazine showed up on a Saturday afternoon with a recipe for a cold zucchini soup.

Zucchini Soup Two Ways?

I sound like an Iron Chef.

Cream of Leek and Zucchini

Since I lost Pat's Mom's recipe, I had to scramble for another online recipe that would use celery and leeks because I already bought them. I came across one on Bread & Honey blog and adapted that to what I have on hand.

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I figured that one of the small, big zucchini I got from Pat and celery heart would be equal to amount of zucchini required. And it was. I also omitted tarragon and fennel seeds here, and used fresh thyme instead. And of course, being a meat eater, I used chicken broth instead of veggie one.

And I decided to drizzle my awesome quality, finishing olive oil on top. Yummy!

(And please ignore the oil slick in these photos. I was too clumsy when I dressed this up and too hungry to re-stage!)

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Alain Coumont's Chilled Zucchini Soup with Purslane

I didn't expect to find any purslane out there, given that this also was the first time I've ever heard of this weed/herb. But I grossly underestimated my local farmers market: while I was looking for arugula, I found many bundles of purslane right next to it.

8 zucchinis or 3 lbs. required here equaled to my giant zucchini with the seeds/core cut out. I mean, look at them seeds!

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What took the most time making this recipe is chopping the veggies.

So. Much. Zucchini!!!!

I cut that sucker in 3 parts, quarter each part, and then cut another third before I started slicing. I saved a few blocks of it to shave for garnish The first batch I kept the skin on, then I realized it might be too tough a texture. So I peeled the rest. In hindsight, I probably could've sliced the quarter and left the skin on as everything ended up blended anyway.

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I was *this* close to add chicken stock to the soup instead of the water. But having never made a chilled soup before, I didn't want to risk having gross chilled chicken fat showing up in the soup.

And voila, the first ever vegan recipe I ever made!

I served this at the office potluck in short, clear plastic cups, dressed with purslane, zucchini ribbons, and a drizzle of olive oil. All 15 cups were taken from the tray however I found about half in the trash afterward, uneaten. Not everyone like "cold soup" as it turns out. But those who loved it, like my boss and a couple health-conscious people, really do love it.

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Afterthought: Both recipes are pretty much the same up until when you need to add liquid. The hot soup required flour, stock and cream, while the cold one just needed water. Fun, eh?

1 comment:

pook N' house said...

Nicely done, sister..purselane, huh? Cooking like pro now..:)