Sunday, August 2, 2009

caramelized zucchini soup with mint

(okay, I get it. The color isn't great. But it was good!)

When I offered to cook for my sister's family, I thought to myself, "hmm, what could be yummy, easy, and impressive all at once?" My sister and her husband had prepared these amazing gourmet meals every day, and while I definitely could make a feast for them, I also didn't want to wreck the kitchen, which I do when I'm not sure where everything is...

Hence, soup. Yes, it was warm outside (but not that warm; we were in a freaking Swiss village), and I had learned a great way to make soup from the Traveler's Lunchbox awhile ago, so I decided to make a caramelized zucchini soup. Last time, I made it with rosemary, but my sister had some fresh mint around, so I figured it would go well.

Then I did it. (Prepare yourselves, people) I used...bouillon. I know, Ina Garten is convulsing in the background (use good ingredients! i buy $100 an oz Madagascar vanilla! you can too!) Usually, I'm a pretty big fan of bouillon, despite its heart-attack inducing properties, because the flavor can be a lot more condensed, and I can 1) save money and 2) use it sparingly (like half a bouillon at a time) to cook.

And, for once, it turned out SALTY (goddamn you, Ina!). So my brother-in-law added some white wine. And it was all good.
Carmelized Zucchini Soup with Mint

About 2 onions
3-4 Zucchini
5-6 cloves garlic unpeeled
About 3/4c walnuts
boullion (or stock)
1/2 c milk (optional)
white wine
olive oil
salt-pepper-any other dried spice you might like (I added oregano and basil).

Chop onion and zucchini. Salt, pepper, and spice them to taste. Place in roasting pan, with unpeeled garlic. Roast at 425 degrees for about half an hour (mixing in between) or until the zucchini and onion have a light caramel color. While roasting the veggies, toast the walnuts over medium-high heat in ungreased pan. Once the vegetetables are out of the oven, pop the garlic out of its peel, and discard the peel. Allow vegetables to cool slightly, then place in large soup pan with walnuts (reserve some walnuts if you'd like for garnish) and boullion (and 3-4 c water) or stock. Once mixture comes to a boil, add mint and splash of white wine. Blend using an immersion blender until creamy. Add milk (if desired). Serve with a dash of olive oil and walnuts.