Sunday, July 18, 2010

Back on Track with Summer Zuppa

Let's see... Last post June 6th. That's a long time ago. I wish I could quickly update you on all that has transpired since then, or at least list the highlights. Unfortunately, when time flys all those hours and days seem to meld together. That's not to say nothing has happened. I'm just hard pressed to come up with any really juicy details that might keep you reading past the first day or two. I will work on including some of the highlights in these new blogs.

Chris and I are making the Cape our new home. We decided that rather than recreate our SF life here in the East, we'd try something a bit different. We know we love city life, people, places etc... But, there has always been something about the Cape.

It has been an incredible Spring and early Summer. We planted our first garden, a bit haphazardly as we were rushed putting it in. There were more than a few failures but the wonders of mother nature never cease. We've had beets, some lovely radishes, salad bowls full of spicy, wild arugula and snap peas that couldn't be sweeter if we dipped them in honey. I just picked two zucchini this morning and, last but not least, we are eagerly awaiting the tomatoes.

In addition to our meager harvest, my mom's friend Tom has supplied us with treasures of his own. Yesterday he arrived with zucchini, summer squash, green beans and corn.

Today, I decided to put those veggies to work. It's hot as heck, but for some reason I was inspired to make a summer vegetable soup. My thought was to make it chunky and light on the broth. Basically a pile of delicious, farm fresh produce served at room temperature, not too hot, over a crusty chunk of good bread with a drizzle of basil pesto.

I had some chorizo in the fridge so that served to create a base along with some extra virgin olive oil, thyme, oregano, bay, fennel, onion and garlic. To that I added cubed, red potatoes and tons of diced zucchini and squash. I put my covered soup pot in the oven and let it all cook together until almost soft. Then I put it back on the stove and added some chicken stock and water to just cover the contents. In went green beans, fresh corn, a little red pepper and sweet grape tomatoes to simmer for another 15 minutes or so.

I was very hot, and very happy with the result. The soup tasted fresh. It looked like a rustic garden on a plate. I quickly made a fresh pesto from basil, spinach, garlic, olive oil and salt. I crisped a loaf of bread in the oven and tore off large pieces for the bottom of the bowl. Then I ladled the zuppa over the top and drizzled the pesto. Yum!

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