Peruvian Quinoa Tortilla

Quinoa Tortilla

I’m about to call it quits!

It all started with my husband. He waited until our wedding to casually inform me that he eats kosher. That sent me for a spin, as I really liked my seafood and pepperoni pizza.

Then my son was diagnosed with food allergies soon after he was born. So our household went egg , nut and dairy-free. And I went bonkers! Back into the kitchen, learning to cook differently. Here come the chia seeds, the kombucha, and the vegetables I’ve never heard of. CuceeSprouts is born.

When my son outgrew all but his nut allergies, a ray of sunshine blossomed on my kitchen table, in the form of frittatas, greek yogurts and mushroom stroganoff. Even though he never learned to like milk and eggs, he couldn’t stop asking for steaks and grilled cheese sandwiches. And so my fridge slowly started looking like a mini supermarket, bloated with meat, dairy, vegetables and fruit.

Then, out of nowhere, my daughter came out to me as a vegetarian. She simply refused to eat her favorite species (something I do not condone her for, especially after witnessing someone at a table next to me take a knife through a body of a deep fried guinea pig with its head still on.)

After a bit of convincing though, mainly for my own sanity, I converted her to a pescatarian lifestyle and started planning on integrating a bed into my kitchen furnishing. How else could I comfortably create meals for a kosher carnivore son, a dairy-loving husband, a pescatarian daughter who doesn’t really like vegetables, and … me?

That is when our dinner table started looking like a gourmet all-you-can-eat restaurant, with a glass of wine permanently attached to my wrist.

And just when I thought I had it all figured out, my husband arrived from Peru and calmly informed that he is now an egg-eating vegan.

Quinoa Tortilla

Peruvian Quinoa Tortilla

Inspired by a trip to Peru; created by me :)

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch of ginger, minced
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup bell peppers of various colors, chopped (or any other vegetables – I used zucchini in this one)
  • ¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 market-fresh corn, shucked
  • ½ cup cheese, cubed. My favorite cheeses to use here are feta, gouda, goat or cheddar
  • 6 eggs
  • Himalayan salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

  1. In a medium nonstick saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and add the onions. Cook the onions until they are soft and starting to caramelize, 5-15 minutes
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute or so
  3. Remove from heat, pour into a medium-sized bowl and cool slightly
  4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until they are light yellow in color. Stir in the cooled quinoa, onion mixture, cheese, corn, olives, bell peppers and combine until incorporated. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved oil in the saute pan. Return the entire mixture back to the pan and use a spatula to flatten out surface. Cook until the bottom is lightly brown, about 5 minutes
  6. To flip the tortilla, set a large plate over the skillet. In one motion, invert the tortilla onto the plate. Put the pan back on the burner and carefully slide tortilla in, cooked side up. Cook just until set, about 4 minutes longer
  7. Serve it warm or at room temperature. You can keep your tortilla on the lowest heat on the stove or in the oven until ready to serve

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Wine pairing

I googled a bit to find THE perfect wine pairing for this dish as I really was not sure. My research led me to this beautiful rich and dry Olof Cellars Barbera that seems to complement and complete the dish! 

Quinoa Tortilla

 

{ 4 comments }

Kvass

Kvass

It was one of those warm middle-of-California-summer nights in a tiny lakeside town near Yosemite. You know, the type where you don’t feel like doing anything but don’t really feel like doing nothing either, so you just kinda slowly walk around in this hazy fog of dehydrated confusion. We were spending a week by the lake with other Russian families. The kids were glued to the TV. The adults were obsessing over how to unglue them from the TV. And as I sat next to a friend of a friend, listening to her talk about how her son had been taking piano lessons for over a year and could play a slightly off-key rendition of “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” I saw it.

A plastic soda bottle filled with a mysterious brown liquid that seemed like root beer in disguise. I lifted it up to my nose to smell it– and took a whiff of my childhood.

I filled up a bubbling glass of the drink I knew was one of my early memories– Kvass. A common Russian drink. I gave some to my son to try, and it was love at first sight. We’ve been making the drink ever since.

If you’ve never had a taste of Kvass before, you’re in for a surprise. Tasting like a milder version of Kombucha, it is tangy, slightly sweet and very refreshing on hot summer days.

Just like Kombucha, it is a Health drink, packed with vitamins C, B1 and E, amino acids, micronutrients and amazing natural bubbles. It energizes and regulates the body’s metabolic processes. It helps prevent infections and keep the heart and circulatory system healthy. And for those like me, suffering from gastritis, the acids that form during fermentation help in the digestion of meat and fat dishes.

Where I grew up, Kvass was a humble street drink. In Peru, the street drink is Chicha Morada. In Mexico, Tepache. In Soviet Union, Kvass! A thirst quencher, it was sold on almost every street corner, in any city from the smallest villages to the largest metropoli.

Picture a large metal barrel on wheels laying on its side in the middle of the sidewalk . A sweaty overweight woman stuffed into a long cotton dress, sitting in a creaky chair with a sack of coins around her waist. “Next,” she’d yell to the long line of thirsty locals waiting patiently for their turn.

3 kopeyki for a small. 6 for a large. A communal glass goes under a spigot and fills with the cold brown bubbly liquid. The next in line downs it in three large gulps and hands the glass over. In one fast motion, the vendor drops the glass into a bucket of water, swirls it once or twice, pulls it out, shakes off the water and waves to the line, “Next.”

This recipe I am sharing is of that nostalgically authentic Russian Kvass. Minus the germ-polluted glass. Minus the barrel. Minus the long line. Minus the hot and muggy Soviet Union. Minus the sweaty woman.

Kvass

Kvass

Recipe by Cucee. Edited by Mika

Ingredients

Brewing directions

  1. Toast the bread slices on the darkest toaster setting, until the bread looks VERY burnt. Darker bread makes darker kvass. You might need to toast the bread twice. (Alternatively, you can toast it in the oven)
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Remove from heat and immediately stir in the bread. Cover with a clean towel (or a lid) and let rest in a dark, cool place overnight or for 8 to 10 hours
  3. The next day, carefully remove the toasted bread and discard it
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together sugar and yeast, add them to kvas mixture and stir. Add raisins
  5. Cover again with the towel (or the lid) and let set another 8 to 10 hours. Taste your kvass to see if it is the right flavor. For the the right flavor means Kvass tastes tangy and not too sweet
  6. When ready, scoop out the raisins and discard
  7. Poor Kvass into bottles, close with the lids and leave them in the fridge overnight. Make sure to have a tight seal if you want bubbly Kvass. Plastic bottles work best for this
  8. You can enjoy your Kvass drink the next day. However, like borscht, it does tastes better each passing day

Kvass

Kvass

{ 5 comments }

Soondubu Stew

When a health-conscious girl from Moldova makes Korean food in the States, it looks something like this:

A BIG MESS. In other words, a Soondubu Stew.

Soondubu, proper pronunciation not required, means “extra soft tofu”. My variation on the stew does not call for any tofu. Sorry.

Inspired by both a Russian soup Solyanka and a Korean street-food stew, this mishmash is currently my newest obsession. And I promise it will become yours too, if you are also into spicy, umami comfort food. You’re welcome!

This healthy hearty dish is full of vegetables and protein. Which is a good thing, because I like to eat food that fills me up and does not weigh me down. The fiery broth has a kick to it and definitely warms the belly from the inside. In fact, it is so good that I almost wish I could bottle it up and sell it!

Soondubu Stew

Food Truck Road Trip and Archimedes Spa’s Solyanka

Ingredients

  • 3 sweet chicken sausages from Trader Joe’s, diced
  • 1.5 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Korean coarse red pepper powder (or none if you can’t do spicy food)
  • 6 dehydrated shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 yellow squash zucchini, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 medium size pickles, diced
  • 4 cups stock
  • ½ cup diced scallion

Directions

  1. To re-hydrate the mushrooms, place them in a cup of boiling water. Soak for 15 minutes
  2. In a medium pot, without heat, mix the sausage, sesame oil, garlic and red pepper. Turn the heat on high and saute for 2 to 4 minutes
  3. Add the rest of ingredients. Bring to boil
  4. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add scallions
  5. Serve on its own or over brown rice or quinoa

Wine Pairing

It is pretty darn challenging to pair wine with Korean food. Trust me – I’ve tried! Your best bet – a light dry Biltmore Riesling that balances rather than fights the intense flavors in the stew.

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Brussels Sprouts Chips

Brussels Sprouts

I once ordered a side of Brussels Sprouts chips in a little restaurant in Guerneville. They were fried, salty and so SO good!

Definitely not something I would attempt to make at home! (I said to myself as I left the restaurant.) Definitely something I tried making minutes after I pulled into the driveway!

And my version tasted JUST LIKE the one in Guerneville, perhaps even better!

Firstly, my Brussels Sprouts are roasted, not fried! And with all the extras that I add to them, they are crunchier and way more flavorful. Plus they require no driving to the restaurant – a true convenience!

I eat these as a snack. I sprinkle them over a salad. I serve them with polenta or mashed potatoes. #AllTheTime

Pied Piper Players "Willy Wonka"

Brussels Sprouts Chips

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Cut the stems from the Brussels Sprouts and halve each one lengthwise. Shred. (Sometimes, when I get my hands on young tiny sprouts, I don’t even bother to trim and half them before shredding.)
  3. In a large bowl, toss Brussels Sprouts with olive oil, garlic, poppy seeds, almonds, salt and pepper.
  4. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Roast in the oven, tossing every few minutes, until sprouts are crisp and browned, about 35 minutes. Don’t be afraid to get them dark – I like them almost burnt while my kids like them lightly browned.
  6. Serve or cool and store in a cookie jar ;)

Pied Piper Players "Willy Wonka"

Wine Pairing

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chips are served best with Champagne. Period.

Pied Piper Players "Willy Wonka"

Pied Piper Players "Willy Wonka"

 

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Chia Cheese Crisps

Crisps

Now that the first Seder is just behind us and the Matza supply is on the verge of depletion, it is time to spice things up for the rest of the Passover!

Lets start with Chia Cheese Crisps. 2 ingredients; endless possibilities.

This is yet another one of those Cucee Originals, like the Grilled Cheese Egg and Very Cherry Chocolaty Larabar Truffles (both of which are also Kosher for Passover, by the way.)

An idea of toasting cheese and seeds came to me one Passover afternoon while I was fighting the craving for a grilled cheese sandwich. I took some cheese, sprinkled it over the pan, tossed in some Chia and voilà! Long story short – those delicate cheesy crisps were gone before I knew it. Trust me, if you are planning to make these to share, make sure you have enough cheese and seeds on-hand for at least 10 crisps – otherwise, make them when noone else is looking :/

I now make enough to last my family for days. I serve them

  • with soup
  • as chips
  • crumbled over a tossed salad
  • with wine

Chia Cheese Crisps

Ingredients

  • Grated Sharp Cheddar (or experiment with other flavorful grated cheeses, like Parmesan, Montasio, Asiago.) Pre-grated cheeses work better than home-grated
  • Chia Seeds

Directions

  1. Heat a small (4.5 or 6-inch) nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Have a cookie sheet, lined with paper towels or foil, ready as well
  2. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of shredded cheese onto a skillet, enough to loosely cover the skillet in a thin layer (not piled high) – this will make the crisps lacy and delicate. Amount of cheese depends on the size of your skillet
  3. Sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of Chia Seeds over the cheese. You can experiment with the amount of chia seeds
  4. Cook for about a minute, until the cheese turns brown. I like mine REALLY brown while my kids prefer theirs lighter in color
  5. Remove the crisps from the skillet onto the lined cookie sheet. The crisps will crisp up as they cool
  6. Cool for 5 minutes and serve

Note: don’t mix the cheese and seeds together or you will end up with one very crumbly crisp. You want to layer the cheese and seeds, in that exact order

Crisps 

Wine Pairing

These crisps go well with any red wine. Just last night, I enjoyed them with a glass (well, more like half a bottle) of a delightful Glencorrie Red Blend

 

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German Pancake

Pied Piper Players "Willy Wonka"

We were in the hot and windy desert of Palm Springs when we visited a diner for breakfast. On the menu, there was an unfamiliar specialty item, a German Pancake.

Now here are some facts for you

Fact #1: No news to you, breakfast is still my favorite meal of the day.

Fact #2: I have served anything and everything breakfast-related at least once in my house.

Fact #3: To that day, I have never heard of a German Pancake before.

Of course we ordered THE pancake. And were completely blown away. And no, I am not exaggerating.

Billowing up high like a cloud, impressing the pants out of us and all the neighboring tables, our giant fluffy puffy arrived at the table. It looked like a crater of a volcano, with tall crispy sides and a volcanic custard-like center… A cross between a soufflé and an omelet. It was impressive. It was delicious.

Fact #4: I now serve a version of this pancake weekly.

Fact #5: I even stuffed it with meat once.

Each of us takes our German pancake differently. I like mine “skinny.” My daughter prefers it with a spoonful of homemade berry sauce. My son demands his CHOCOLATY! Very chocolaty! And my friend’s son, well as soon as he smells the pancake in the oven, hyperventilates in excitement, “A German Pancake? I love Cucee’s German Pancake!”

Ok, lets do this. A German Pancake recipe for you, times 3: Cucee’s three most asked for variations:

The Classic German Pancake

Pied Piper Players "Willy Wonka"

If you want drama, this is your recipe! It puffs up really high, and when it settles, you’re left with one deliciously custardy breakfast. Serve it with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
  2. Place 2 tbs of butter in a 9-inch baking dish. Place in oven until the butter melts, about 2-4 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the milk, eggs, flour, salt, vanilla and sugar until smooth
  4. Remove the pan from the oven, swirling butter to coat the sides
  5. Pour the batter into the pan and immediately return the dish to the oven. Bake until puffed and golden-brown, 18 to 20 minutes
  6. Working quickly, dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve right away

The Skinny German

Pied Piper Players "Willy Wonka"

This is the lightest variation, both in texture and calories. Less flour, less sugar, less drama and lightness all around. This pancake will not puff up as much but will yield a really tender custard. What can I say, a drama-free pancake! Because sometimes you just need LESS DRAMA in your life!

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
  2. Place 2 tbs of butter in a 9-inch baking dish. Place in oven until the butter melts, about 2-4 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the milk, eggs, flour, salt, vanilla and sugar until smooth.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven, swirling butter to coat the sides
  5. Pour the batter into the pan and immediately return the dish to the oven. Bake until puffed and golden-brown, 18 to 20 minutes
  6. Working quickly, dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve right away

The German pancake with Sauteed Apples

Pied Piper Players "Willy Wonka"

This variation on the Classic, plus lots of extra fiber.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Melt 2 tbs butter in a small frying pan
  2. Add apples and sprinkle with 2 tbs brown sugar and cinnamon. Slowly cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until slices are glazed and tender yet still somewhat firm. Reserve.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees
  4. Place 2 tbs of butter in a 9-inch baking dish. Place in oven until the butter melts, about 2-4 minutes
  5. Remove the pan from the oven, swirling butter to coat the sides
  6. Sprinkle the pan with 2 tbsp brown sugar over the melted butter
  7. Spread the apples on top of the brown sugar and sprinkle with 2 more tbsp brown sugar. Put the pan back in the oven to caramelize the apples and sugar
  8. Take the pan out of the oven and pour the batter over the apples and immediately return the dish to the oven. Bake until puffed and golden-brown, 18 to 20 minutes
  9. Dig in!!!

Pied Piper Players "Willy Wonka"

 

Drink pairing

I take my Skinny German with a cup of Pero (aka fake coffee; also known as coffee substitute.) If you read my previous post on Hell, you’d know why. But, really, this stuff is pretty good for what it is, especially when you try to stay away from the caffeine. Try it!

Pied Piper Players "Willy Wonka"

{ 4 comments }

Goat Cheese Cherry Quinoa Salad with Almond and Basil Gremolata

Welcome to my hell.

Lets talk about asthma for a moment. I rescue a kitty and suddenly, BOOM, non-stop cough, tightness in my chest, breathing issues… So I see a doctor, who surprises me with a diagnosis – a case of kitten-induced Asthma.

Full house of inhalers, nose sprays, prescription bottles and I finally breathe normally! Until 6 months later… And then 3 months later again.

Fall  2014 arrives with another Asthma episode; but I come prepared! I spray, I inhale, I ingest, I repeat…. For a day, a week, a month… No progress?! I see my Dr again, who now surprises me with a brand new diagnosis – Acid Reflux.

I replace my asthma meds with a new set of shiny red-and-black striped  pills. And go on a diet.

Now about hell.

I do not diet. I just don’t. I love food a little too much. Hence this blog :) I also like coffee. And wine… And my new diet denies me both!

After a week of caffeine withdrawals and headaches, I switched to Chamomile tea (shoot me now for I have been drinking this yellow nothingness for months). But giving up wine has been even harder; water just isn’t a good substitute in social settings! So once in a while I slip… and sip…. But not more than a glass or I start coughing and puffing.

And after eating tasteless nothingness and feeling sorry for myself for weeks (who wouldn’t when not allowed cooking with fat, citrus, vinegar, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spicy things), I decide to deal with my hell and start finding and redefining myself again.

This post has been created out of desperation. This recipe was created out of necessity. That later caused inspiration to make delicious food even under strict limitations. And even after I fix my health problems, this and a few other new recipes will stay in my repertoire. Not only ‘till my next outbreak but for also in-between.

The making of the salad

Goat Cheese Cherry Quinoa Salad with Almond and Basil Gremolata

Goat Cheese Cherry Quinoa Salad with Almond and Basil Gremolata

Heavily adapted from Change of Appetite: Where Delicious Meets Healthy

I took an already delicious recipe of a light meal to a healthy substantial one I also modified the ingredients to fit my family’s taste. When I make this dish for myself only, I skip the acids. As for the herbs, feel free to replace cilantro with basil or even rosemary – both taste great.

Ingredients

For the cherries

For the gremolata

  • 1/3 cup blanched slivered or sliced almonds
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro

For the salad

Directions

  1. Cut cherries in halves. Put into a bowl with all the other ingredients for the cherries, stir, and let stand for 30 minutes or more.
  2. To make the gremolata, toast the almonds in a dry skillet until golden brown. Let them cool. Crush the garlic and cilantro in the mortar with a generous pinch of sea salt until a paste forms, about 2 minutes. Add almonds and crush a bit more. Mix with a spoon and set aside.
  3. For the salad, toss the salad ingredients with the cherries and their macerating juice. Sprinkle with gremolata.

Goat Cheese Cherry Quinoa Salad with Almond and Basil Gremolata

 Wine Pairing

Sauvignon Blanc and Goat cheese are always the classic match! 2013 Hall Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc from St. Helena (my backyard) is one of my personal favorites.

Goat Cheese Cherry Quinoa Salad with Almond and Basil Gremolata

Goat Cheese Cherry Quinoa Salad with Almond and Basil Gremolata

 

{ 2 comments }

Sage Gnudi & New Site Design

Sage Gnudi

“If clouds were made of cheese, and naughty, they’d be gnudi.“ Serious Eats

This year is off to a good start for Cucee! First and foremost, my blog has been redesigned!

Personally, I’ve always liked the design of CuceeSprouts. But ever since the web world went “Mobile First”, my blog started exhibiting early signs of aging. It must be all that pinching and zooming on the phone that contributed to its wrinkles and flabby skin. Cucee was definitely ready for a facelift!

Secondly, I have so many new healthy recipes coming your way this year! I have already photographed 3 and I just cannot wait to share them!

The first recipe of the year is Gnudi. Gnudi are basically nude ravioli, the creamy filling without the pasta wrapper! They are that ultimate winter comfort food that does not leave you feeling guilty later. Light, fluffy, and so tender, they melt in your mouth the moment they reach it.

Gnudi

Sage gnudi

Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food: The Ultimate Weekend Cookbook

Gnudi ingredients

The sauce ingredients

Directions

  1. Make sure your Ricotta is dry. VERY DRY. If it isn’t, squeeze out as much water as you can. This insures that your gnudi do not explode in the boiling water.
  2. Beat the ricotta, grated Parmesan, a pinch of sea salt, black pepper, and a few scrapings of nutmeg.
  3. Generously cover a large tray with semolina, then roll the ricotta mixture into 1-inch balls, rolling them in the tray of semolina as you go until really well coated.
  4. Leave for 8 hours or overnight in the fridge UNCOVERED – the semolina will dehydrate the ricotta, giving the gnudi a lovely fine coating.
  5. On the day of cooking, start by making the sauce first. Melt a large knob of butter in a frying pan on a medium heat and pick in about 20 sage leaves to crisp up. Remove the crispy leaves to a plate. Leave butter in a pan but turn the heat to the lowest setting.
  6. Boil the water then lower to simmer. Cook gnudi in simmering salted water for not longer than 2 minutes. Test the first batch to get the timing right. Mine take about 2 minutes until they start to fall apart. You basically just want to warm them up.
  7. Scoop the gnudi directly from the water into the frying pan, adding a spoonful of the cooking water. When the butter and water have emulsified, take off the heat and grate over a layer of Parmesan, add just a few drops of lemon juice, then toss together. Serve in warm bowls straight away with an extra grating of nutmeg and Parmesan and the crispy sage leaves.

Wine pairing

Because Gnudi are very delicate, they deserve a wine that won’t overpower them.  This refreshing mild-boded Pinot Gris with palate-cleansing acidity is a perfect match!

Gnudi

Gnudi

{ 3 comments }

Morning Coffee Bowl

Breakfast Coffee Bowl

I like cooking from recipes, I do! Find a recipe, buy all the ingredients, pour a glass of wine and cook away. However, being a mom of two curious children who want to be a part of every after-school activity imaginable, this way of cooking no longer seems to work for me (most of the time.) So I have been doing a lot more improvising in the kitchen. And liking it :)

Some Cucee experiments never repeat again, while others turn into favorites. One of the more successful ones is my Morning Coffee Bowl.

This breakfast bowl changes frequently. It adapts. It listens: to me, to the season, to the contents of my fridge and the cupboard. Sometimes it starts with Greek yogurt. Sometimes with coconut milk. In the spring, it is all girly: red strawberries and pink raspberries. In the fall, it is colored blueberry-purple. And during holidays, it is all about cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and pumpkins. Sometimes it is chia-seed-speckled. Sometimes it is covered with chocolate nib snow. And on Monday mornings, it is is heavily laced with coffee.

Breakfast Coffee Bowl

Morning Coffee Bowl

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Mix the first 7 ingredients
  2. Gently fold frozen blueberries into the mixture
  3. Sprinkle with sunflower kernels and a little more Instant coffee granules to taste

Breakfast Coffee Bowl
Coffee pairing

Any. Coffee. Period. (Maybe with Something Natural on a side)

Breakfast Coffee Bowl

{ 2 comments }

Tarragon Lemon Summer Squash Soup

Tarragon Lemon Summer Squash Soup

Everyone has at least ONE vegetable they CANNOT stand. For whichever reason that may be… For some, it’s that “healthy” vegetable they were force-fed as a child; for others, it is the one they’ve overdone on at some point in life!

As for me – that evil cadevil is celery (don’t ask!) For my husband – anything squash or zucchini (big thanks to the lunch ladies at his school cafeteria (aka столовка).

For years, I have been on a hunt for that one summer squash recipe that would be welcomed at our dinner table. Mainly because I really like courgettes. I’ve sauteed, baked and breaded them… I’ve even hid them in dishes like cakes, breads, even smoothies! Nothing worked for my husband. Until now!!!

A simple brothy soup from Food52. Sauteed squash and zucchini, a touch of fresh squeezed lemon juice, some fresh tarragon leaves, a scoop of yogurt. “You do realize it is Summer Squash you are enjoying right now,” I asked my husband?

This soup really is pretty darn special. Refreshing, hydrating, light. Delicate, uncomplicated, delicious. Wonderful when served hot or Gazpacho-style. A soup that feels like summer. That care-free, school-is-out, trips-to-the-lake summer.  So, before the summer is officially over, have a bowl!

Tarragon Lemon Summer Squash Soup

Tarragon Lemon Summer Squash Soup

Loosely based on the recipe from Food52

Ingredients

  • 2 medium yellow squash, diced
  • 2 medium green zucchini, diced
  • 4 green onions (scallions), light green and white parts, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 2 garlic clove, finely minced
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • Greek yogurt (full fat or fat-free)
  • Tarragon, snipped chives, shredded Parmesan cheese, and croutons, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large soup pot, sauté the squash, zucchini and onion in the butter and olive oil until onion is tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic in the last minute or so.
  2. Season with black pepper to taste, add the tarragon, then pour in the broth and lemon juice and stir.
  3. Cover and bring to a simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until the squash is tender all the way through.
  4. Serve immediately with a generous serving of yogurt (a tablespoon or more depending on how creamy you want the soup to be)
  5. Optionally, garnish with additional tarragon, chives, shredded Parmesan cheese, and croutons, if you like.

Tarragon Lemon Summer Squash Soup

Wine pairing

I don’t generally sip wine with soup, however, I did find that starting my meal with a glass of Naked Winery Viognier helped me appreciate the simple flavors of the soup.

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