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Zucchini-Tomato Soup! and quick fish

December 28, 2012

Guess what? It got cold here! It’s snowing up in Dallas and snowed in Kentucky earlier. I hear it’s been storming in Michigan and Snohio. Here it hit a cool 34 F! That is bitter for us coastals.  Soup is good when it’s cold, and when it is a pretty quick recipe, and when you have company, especially when the company likes the color red! I’ve been keeping zucchini on hand when I’m home because my sister and I seem to use it in a lot of our go-to recipes, so I happily had 6 fat little Mexican Tatuma squashes. They are lighter green than what is normally called zucchini, but they function the same. The Mexican squashes have a more… melodic, enticing scent.

Um.

Confession: I made a mess with this. Kept trying to ventilate the blender because I wasn’t using the proper cap, but when I tipped the top up, soup would spew out angrily- the lava would lurch toward my holiday apron and cling to anything white it could reach. Then after, when I was scraping the thick bits off with a spatula, gingerly maneuvering the hot pitcher with my wet hands, I lost grip and dropped the whole thing in to the bowl of soup! It looked like a beer-rita. Or a blender-version of the sinking Titanic. Much tomato soup was displaced onto the white cabinets and floor. 😦 Please be more careful. Or let the soup cool. Or ask your older brother to do the blending and spatula-ing. Or use the proper blender lid. So many suggestions. Hmmph. Haha

Zucchini-Tomato Soup
adapted from Joy the Baker

6 Tatuma squashes or reg. Zucchini* (do not skin!)
4-5 carrots, peeled
4-5 celery stalks
Olive oil

2 cloves garlic

Red pepper, dried
Basil, dried
Rosemary, fresh (can use dried)

2 cans (~15 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (~15 oz) tomato sauce

3 cups vegetable broth or stock
1 cup water

Chop all (well-washed) veggies into 1/2″ – 1/4″ pieces. Heat oil in large stock pot. Pour in all the veggies. Sautee, stirring often for about 10 mins or until zucchini is soft. Mince cloves of garlic. Add garlic and red pepper to the pot. Stir, of course. Pour in tomatoes, sauce, broth and water. Stir it up! Bring to a simmer (med-high heat) and let simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Turn off heat when carrots are soft. Let cool a few minutes. Scoop appropriate amounts into your blender and puree the veggies. Be careful when blending hot things! Allow for a vent (but be sure it won’t let soup spill out). Make sure that your blender (if glass) is not undergoing a dramatic temperature change. Keep the blender in a warm place or temper it w/hot water, so that the glass does not shatter.
Pour smooth soup into a fresh pot or serving bowl. Repeat blending steps until all the soup is pureed smoothly.

Serve while warm. Keeps in fridge, tightly covered, 3-4 days. DELICIOUS.

The biggest difference is that Joy’s version adds 2 cups of whole milk to the pureed product. I preferred the soup to be lighter and healthier- and dairy-less.I did not want it to be a bisque.
*(If using reg. zucchini, maybe 4-5 zucchinis? Tatuma are ~6″ long, ~3″ diameter at their widest point)

Quick Delicious Fish

5-6 White fish filets like flounder, frozen or thawed (each ~4-5″ in length; ~3-4″ wide; ~3/4″ thick)
liberal TBs of Olive oil
1-2 cloves Minced garlic
1 TB or more Dried Oregano
~3 inch sprig of Rosemary (or dried), crushed or minced

Oven at 350 F. In frying pan, heat oil. Add garlic, stir around. Stick fish in pan for a few minutes.
Remove fish from pan one by one, rub with salt and oregano, and lay in casserole dish or 9″ x 13″ pan (lined with foil for easy clean-up). Pour oil and garlic over all fish, making sure to evenly distribute garlic. Lift fishes to allow oil underneath (to prevent sticking and for even flavor). Sprinkle rosemary over all. Bake 11-13 minutes.  Dish will be soupy with oil & fish juice. Perhaps serve over rice to savor!

Yayayay! The soup was delicious- tomato-y and full-bodied, just a tiny bit spicy and tasting a bit Southwestern- and made the whole house smell terrific. Can’t wait to eat some tomorrow. It would be fine without pureeing it, really. I wanted that thick, smooth texture, however.

To accompany the soup, I was planning on making chicken, but… it was mostly frozen still and it was getting late. Threw the fish together on the fly! Lo and behold it was actually veryyyy tasty!

The fish may be a repeat, but as my home-mate at my own residence is a vegetarian, I know that soup will be made again when I am back up “north”.

Lovely. Please eat this. It’s so good.

Hearth hurrays,
L.

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