Sunday, July 7, 2013

Zucchini and Squash Curried Soup

Here is a great summer dish that is sure to please almost everyone. This dish is a perfect melding of Italian and Indian cuisine, bringing out the best of both. To call this dish a soup is a bit of a stretch since it is very hardy and thick, more of a chunky sauce.  It pairs perfectly over rice, couscous, or pasta.

Ingredients:
1 pablano pepper, roasted and chopped
3 cloves garlic,  roasted and minced
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp paprika
3 green onions, chopped fine
3 medium zucchini, sliced
3 medium yellow squash, sliced
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/8 tsp sage
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 12 ounce cans diced tomatoes with Italian seasons

Directions:
1: Roast the pablano and garlic in the oven to release their flavors, let then cool and chop then up.  Set aside together.
2: Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium high heat then add the curry, cayenne pepper, paprika, and bay leaves. Toast spices for 1 minute to release their essence and then add the pablano and garlic and stir fry then for another minute.  The oil should now carry the flavors of all the base spices.
3: Dump in the zucchini, squash, and green onions. Stir-fry them for 5 minutes and then add in the oregano, basil, rosemary, sage, salt, and pepper.  Continue to stir-fry the vegetables for another 5 minutes or so until they begin to turn soft.
4: Add the canned tomatoes and do not drain.  Simmer for 15 minutes covered and then 15 minutes uncovered. Let stand for five minutes before serving.

Garnish:
Top off with a few leaves of fresh basil.

This dish is great when served topped with parmasean or other shredded cheese.

Variations:
For a spicier dish, double the amount of fried spices and/or use a couple red jalapeno chilis.

For a soupier dish, add a can of water and a tbsp of tomato paste or 1/4 tomato sauce.