Category Archives: Soups & Stews

Thai Chilled Squash Soup — Chopping Block Report

This recipe deserves to come off the chopping block and into regular rotation! I made it with zucchini in early summer, when my kitchen was overrun with zucchini.  About a week later, the soup was asked for by name by my then 7-year-old.  How many chilled soups can make that claim?  How many squash recipes can make that claim? I rest my case.

The only complicated thing about this soup is making it far enough in advance that it can be fully chilled before serving. It is the kind of recipe that can be fairly mild for timid souls, or it can embrace a serious dose of heat for the more adventurous.  I’ve made it both ways, and I’d say the spicier version was better.

Full disclosure:  the spicy version was so good that I poured the leftovers into an insulated travel mug the next morning and had the soup as a “smoothie” during my commute to work. I found myself looking around while at the stop lights at my fellow drivers and wondering, “Is it possible that anyone else is having chilled Thai zucchini soup at 6am?” Maybe not, but they’d have been smiling too if they were! It made for quite a zippy start to the day, and it reminded me of the time I made garam masala from scratch using my mother’s coffee grinder during a weekend visit.  I forgot to clean the grinder before heading back to graduate school, and I got a call on Monday morning from my mother, who was exclaiming about the “interesting” cup of coffee she’d just had!

Is It Liquid Sunshine or Yellow Gazpacho?

Our yellow teardop tomatoes have been very productive lately, so when we got yellow beans and yellow peppers in our produce delivery, I decided that it was time to make a yellow gazpacho.  I loosely followed this recipe, and our version included orange juice, cucumber, a little red onion, yellow pepper, yellow wax beans and the yellow tomatoes. A smoothie of yellow veggies!  I toppped it with a chiffonade of basil. The color was intense……like the color of the yolk in a fried egg, and the taste was just as vibrant. And really, really refreshing on a day that hovered around 100 degrees!

Shepherd’s Pie, Deconstructed

Dinner tonight came together really easily.  We had some Daube in the freezer, a beef stew from Southern France, from a dinner several weeks ago when I made a double batch of the stew.  I thawed that in the refrigerator and it only needed to be reheated tonight.  The littlest chef and her Daddy made baked potatoes while I was on my way home from work.  And I steamed some frozen mixed vegetables with a little butter & thyme.  Voila!  A deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie was born!