Monday, July 31, 2006

Roasted Zucchini Soup with Fried Shallots

You know what, Blogger? You and me? We are officially in a fight. You see, I've had people on my case for not posting enough, yet I've been trying to upload pictures for this recipe for DAYS. Days! This? Is ridiculous.

And so, with one triumphant picture loaded, I'm posting. This is a great soup that will use up any zucchinis that are taking over your garden or given to you by overburdened friends. It's best served at room temperature, but you can certainly chill it if the heat is beating you down. I like it at a thicker consistency than some of you might, just adjust the stock or half & half as you wish. Also, you'll see that the measurements are far from precise--just wing it and feel proud when you are later slurping down this savory sweet soup with its satisfyingly crunchy garnish.

Roasted Zucchini Soup with Fried Shallots

for the shallots:

3-4 shallots, peeled and sliced very thinly
peanut oil

Heat about an inch of peanut oil over medium-high heat in a small, heavy pot. Fry the shallots in batches, being careful to not overload the pot or they will stick, until a deep golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

For the soup:

4-5 medium zucchini
half & half
chicken stock (or any broth)
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cube the zucchini roughly and toss generously in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast until caramelized on the edges and very soft--you want it softer than you would if eating it on its own.

Dump the zucchini into a food processor and pulse a few times until pretty mushy. Now you can get creative--add stock and continue processing until as smooth and thin as you like. Add some half & half (you could use cream or even whole milk instead) in at the end and pulse again to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning--I like it simple, but you could add any number of spices at this point.

Ladle into a shallow bowl and top with a generous amount of the fried shallots. I recommend eating this whilst cursing your blog publishing program. It soothes the pain in a most satisfying manner.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Simple Pleasures

I just made myself a heaping bowl of exceedingly sweet peaches, sliced thinly and drizzled with a tiny bit of fresh cream. The result is heavenly, like being given permission to eat peach ice cream for breakfast--but for me, even better (frozen peaches make my teeth hurt).

What's making you smile today?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Single Girl Crabcakes

I am always inordinately proud when I make a real meal on nights when Chris is away, because really, isn't rice pudding and popcorn with lots of butter more appealing? I regret those nights of food debauchery every single time, though, and so I generally try to make something real.

These crabcakes weren't perfect, in fact I'm not going to post a recipe until I get a chance to tweak it. However, they were warm, they used up some ingredients languishing in the refrigerator, and they were satisfying to my ravenous stomach. Topped with a quickie fake-remoulade and joined by a tangle of wilted lemon spinach, I had quite a nice little meal on my hands.

Other single night favorites include linguine with white clam sauce, BLEATs, Lemon Risotto, Tuna Burgers, and Couscous with Halloumi and Spinach. Before you start to think that Chris has abandoned me, these "single" nights only come along 3-4 times a month, when he has a show or practice or something like that.

Also, one last thing, you might notice, over there on the right, a new "email me" link. That's right, kids, she's slowly being drug into the 21st century and you can now email the old girl at marianne at theunemployedcook dot com.