Tomato and Frisée Salad
2 pounds yellow summer squash (about 6 medium)
1 large yellow bell pepper
4 medium carrots
1/2 pound Yukon gold potatoes (about 2 medium)
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups homemade vegetable or chicken stock, or canned broth
Zucchini Crisps (recipe follows)
12 large, fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Cut the squash in half and then into 1/2-inch dice (about 8 cups); cut the bell pepper into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups); cut the carrots in 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/4 cup); cut the potatoes in 1/2 inch dice (scant 1 cup).
2. Medium chop the onion (about 1 cup). Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low; add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened.
3. Add the squash, pepper, carrots and potatoes to the saucepan along with the vegetable or chicken stock; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer partially covered until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool, 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make the Zucchini Crisps. Thinly slice the basil crosswise (a scant 1/4 cup).
5. Transfer 3 cups of the vegetables from the soup to a small bowl using a slotted spoon and reserve. Working in small batches, puree the remaining soup in a blender until smooth; transfer to a bowl. Return the soup to the saucepan along with the reserved vegetables and add water, if necessary, to reach the desired consistency; add salt and black pepper to taste. Heat just to a boil. Divide the soup among 4 to 6 soup bowls, top each serving with some Zucchini Crisps and basil.
Preheat the oven to 250˚ F. Cut 1 medium zucchini into 1/4 inch thick slices (about 1 3/4 cups). Pulse 1 1/2 slices firm white bread in a blender or food processor to make fresh bread crumbs. Combine 2/3 cup of the breadcrumbs and 1 1/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup Microplane-grated or 1/2 cup grated on the fine side of a box grater) in a medium bowl. Mix 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in pie plate or shallow baking dish. Beat 1 large egg with 1/2 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat until hot. Dredge the zucchini slices in the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip them into the egg and then into the crumbs. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Fry the zucchini in several batches for 4 to 5 minutes, or until browned on both sides. Add more olive oil as needed. Drain the crisps on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven.
Summer squash, such as zucchini or yellow squash, is harvested as immature fruit so it has a thin, edible skin and soft seeds. The flesh is tender with a high water content and mild flavor and doesn’t require long cooking. (Cooks Ingredients)
I always keep a resealable bag or tupperware container on the counter when I am chopping vegetables so I can throw the scraps into it and freeze them for a future stock.
How to Puree Soup Without Burning Yourself
The next time you are blending something that is hot, only fill up the blender 1/3 full, put the lid on a little askew (to let hot air out) and cover with a kitchen towel. Start on low or pulse and work your way up to high.