A Summer Squash Soup Recipe – Perfect for End of Summer Nights

“I’d probably be 100 lbs. overweight if you didn’t feed me all this healthy crap after 9pm.”

“Healthy crap???”

“Just kidding, it’s delicious.”

I’m sure you’ve been in a relationship at times where one person tends to like pizza just a little more than you do. So what began this conversation? My summer meal of squash and leek soup. Soup in the summer? Yes. It happened to be a cool evening in July. I felt like soup, but light soup. Soup that tastes like summer in the palm of your hand.

After reading about the countless uses for yellow summer squash in Vegetarian Times, I decided to try out one of the recipes, with my own spin of course. (That’s what makes cooking fun!)

summer squash soupSummer Squash Soup
Adapted from Vegetarian Times 

1 tablespoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups sliced leeks, cleaned
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
Splash of dry white wine
3 cups yellow squash, trimmed and diced
2 cups zucchini, trimmed and diced
2 cups fresh corn kernels, reserve the cobs
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 handful mint
1 day old baguette
Salt and pepper to taste

Stir saffron into a cup of hot water. Set aside. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the leeks, season with salt and cover for 10 minutes. Add in garlic and wine, scraping the delicious “brown bits” off the bottom of the pan. Season with some red hot pepper flakes and pepper. Now add in the saffron and the saffron water, squash, zucchini, corn, corncobs and 6 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil, then bring to a simmer until squash is soft.

Let cool before adding into a blender (or be sure to hold the top down of the blender with a towel because heat expands and your cabinets will not look pretty!) Stir in the apple cider vinegar and half of the chopped mint leaves.

Serve with toasted pieces of the baguette, mint, and sliced of sundried tomato flakes. I even drizzled a little bit of my favorite extra virgin olive oil over the top. If you’re not vegan, I would also recommend a sprinkle of Parm! Enjoy!

A Leek and Greens Recipe Just For You!

Last week my amazing neighbor went clamming, which means he brought us back 16 very beautiful and very large clams from the Barnegat Bay. Now, when he handed these precious bay gems over to my husband, he told him they would be great in a stew. The first thing that came to mind was the tasty French seafood stew, Bouillabaisse. I quickly decided to jet to the store and pick up the ingredients. Only when I got there, I forgot to purchase additional seafood (well, we were making a trip to the local brewery and it was 90 degrees in the car – so maybe it was on purpose).

leek recipeLeft to my devices, I landed up making a Seafood Stew that was a little on the lighter side, however I was left with a decent amount of leeks… which sat in my fridge for a couple of days until I just couldn’t take their presence anymore. I had to do something with them, but what?

After looking around in my cookbooks I found a recipe for leeks, greens, and coconut milk – yes… coconut milk. It sounded delicious and easy so I figured what the heck. I have tons of greens in my garden and I actually had coconut cream in my pantry. It was meant to be. Combined with some Japanese Buckwheat Soba Noodles that I received from my monthly Try the World box, I was set for a very fantastic lunch.

Note that this dish is definitely better when warm. The coconut milk makes a light and creamy coating on the warm noodles. If you’re heating up leftovers, I would recommend adding a little bit of coconut milk (or coconut cream and water) to a pan with the noodles, leeks, and greens. Enjoy!

leek recipeLeeks and Greens with Coconut Milk Over Soba Noodles
(Adapted from River Cottage Veg cookbook)

4 leeks
1 cup of your favorite greens (I used a combination of collards and kale)
1-tablespoon coconut oil
2 garlic cloves
1-teaspoon curry powder
1-cup coconut milk or ½ cup coconut cream with ½ cup water
Red pepper flakes (or red pepper paste) to taste
1 handful roasted peanuts or cashews
1 tablespoon sliced scallions for garnish

Trim the leeks of the roots and fibrous tops, then cut in half, and cut each half into ½ inch ribbons. Place in a bowl of water and loosen up the pieces so that they’re not connected to each other. This will help get all of the grit out. Let sit for an hour then take the leeks out of the water (don’t drain because the grit and sand will be on the bottom of the bowl).

Sauté the garlic cloves, leeks, and greens in the coconut oil. Add the curry powder and red pepper flakes (if using). Sauté for a few minutes than add the coconut milk or cream and water mixture. Let cook until tender, but still slightly crunchy.

Meanwhile bring water to a boil and cook the soba noodles according to package directions. When cooked, combine with the leek mixture and serve with additional red pepper flakes, nuts, and scallions.

Super easy, super delicious, and super healthy!