Knowing the dream was a sign, I got up and went out to the garden. There I found the nice baby squash I’d seen just a day or two before, had grown to an alarming size. Nothing to do but pick them and go through the zucchini recipes. Zucchini fries. Zucchini spaghetti noodles. Stuffed zucchini. All done. So I thought of my puréed green soup, something I’d invented a summer or two before. Zucchini, onion, potatoes, garlic, chicken broth. Sour cream stirred in to make it creamy.
I read recipes but don’t usually follow them. I am more of an intuitive cook. I have an idea of what works together and tend to repeat myself with variations. I don’t spice heavily, relying on ingredients like garlic and onion for flavor, a little salt, fresh herbs, olive oil. Parsley stays alive in our front garden until thanksgiving or so. Chives too.
After that dream, I made two batches of green soup, each delicious, good for dinner or breakfast, and enhanced by the addition of a little sour cream (or a lot). Then my husband took over. He saw that he could use up many of the vegetables he’d been growing in the garden, including some larger squash that I’d passed over, and handfuls of Swiss chard. His first batch was a grand success, so he made another using the baseball bat sized squash I’d left in the basket. They were so big, I’d given up on them, thinking their skins would be tough, their insides seedy. But no, the blender worked miracles. They were just right for green soup.
Jim loves making green soup. He’s made it twice a week through the early fall. He’s got at least one more batch in him before the freeze. Out to the garden, washing, chopping, sautéing puréeing. He’s frozen green soup, given it away to his clients, and we’ve enjoyed it every time. He’s made his adjustments to my recipe, best thing is the chile or two he’s been sneaking in. Makes it spicy. And the carrots add a little heft and sweetness. He’s left off the sour cream except as a serving garnish He thinks he’s invented it now, and in a way he has. He has it down, and he creates the batch each time to perfection.
Here’s the recipe loosely.
Red or white potatoes as a thickening base
Zucchini – lots of it and large ones are OK
Fresh garden herbs like basil, chives, parsley
Chard or spinach, large quantities OK
One small chile or pepper (not two, Jim)
Fresh carrots if you like
Cut potatoes, onions, and zucchini in chunks. Sautée vegetables in olive oil. If using carrots, add those now. Once the vegetables are soft, add broth. Pile in a large portion of greens, and cook down until tender and reduced. Add more broth as needed. Add late spices like garlic and fresh herbs.
Purée soup in a blender, not filling it too full with the hot liquid. (I read a warning that said filling a blender too full with hot liquid can cause cracking, exploding, etc. NOT GOOD! SO BE CAREFUL!) Return soup to the pot and continue fished out the chunks and puréeing. Soup is done when most chunks are gone and the soup is a brilliant green color. Soup can be served with a dollop of sour cream. If not eating carbs, don’t have buttered toast. Otherwise it’s a delicious side.
Freeze leftovers (if any) to enjoy