About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Waste Not, Want Not Soup

I've got plenty of food, in fact too much. Social distancing doesn't lend to sharing so much and with time on my hands I need to turn those leftovers that won't go away into something that will freeze or preserve.  Based on my post, Cold Zucchini Soup from the Union Square Cafe, I added to the zucchini and onion, the left over half head of cabbage from Colocannon of St. Patricks Day and the gremolata I used with Provencal Vegetable soup. The cabbage adds an earthy touch and boy, does gremolata pack some flavor!  Soup is a great way to use up leftover vegetables and gremolata or pesto makes great use of herbs that are so perishable.  I've quick-pickled onions, carrots and radishes to add to salads and made simple syrups with lemons and ginger to cut down on waste.  There are really many easy and useful ways to put what you have to good use and avoid the boring repetition of leftovers.  Get creative!  BTW, I used my high speed blender for this soup.

For the soup

4 cups cabbage, sliced thin
2 cups onion diced
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 tbls olive oil
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
salt & pepper
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup cream (optional)

For the gremolata

1 small bunch flat leaf Italian parsley, trimmed
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tsp chopped lemon peel (preserved if you have it)
olive oil

In a large skillet with straight sides, heat the oil over medium heat until it shimmers.  Add the cabbage and onion and toss to coat with oil.  Reduce the heat and continue to cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are wilted but do not brown.  Season generously with salt and add the red pepper flakes.  Grate the zucchini and add to the cooked vegetables.  When the zucchini has softened, cut the heat and allow the vegetables to cool for 10 minutes.  Add the vegetables to the blender and purée.  Add half the chicken stock slowly.  Don't fill up to the top, just half way.  Wipe out the skillet and return the purée then add the rest of the stock.  Correct the seasoning and add the cream if you like.

Put the parsley, garlic and lemon peel in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 5-6 times to break down the parsley.  Then stream in about 1/2 cup olive oil or more with the processor running until a paste is formed.  Scrape down the sides as necessary.  Gremolata can also be made simply by finely chopping the ingredients with a sharpe knife and mixing in the oil.

Swirl in the gremolata to the soup or serve separately to taste.  I like to finish this soup with a drizzle of truffle oil and sourdough croutons.

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