Several zucchini the size of cricket bats greet me the morning after a week-long vacation this summer. Along with a number of full-sized yellow crookneck squash, smiling up innocently from beneath the leaves.
Clearly, something had to be done. And quickly!
I had a hankering for soup.
I wasn’t sure what kind, though. Perhaps Indian? Naw, I think I want to make an Indian dish later this week. What about Mexican? Possibility, but I don’t have any frozen corn, which blows it for me tonight.
I want to use zucchini, squash… and some of these frozen vegetables in my freezer. Not much fresh in the house, since we just got home and I haven’t been shopping yet. Oh wait: here is a can of diced tomatoes, and another of tomato paste…
Ah yes… I think it will be Italian soup. Italian vegetable soup.
I sauté garlic briefly in olive oil in the bottom of my largest soup pot, a handy 12-quart stock pot, and add the zucchini and squash, cut into bite-sized pieces. When softened, I add an undrained 28-oz can of diced tomatoes and a bag containing 11 cups of frozen turkey stock that I make from the Thanksgiving turkey carcass every year. I stir in a can of tomato paste in small amounts to dissolve well.
Back out to the garden for a handful of oregano and parsley, chopped and added to the pot. Season with sea salt and a teaspoon or so of red pepper flakes to give it that little “oomph” and make it interesting. 2 bags of frozen green beans that should really get used. Purified water to thin it out and make more broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer ‘til vegetables are tender and tomato flavor is more sweet than iron-y.
I divvy up the finished soup into assorted 4-serving size storage containers, label and cool in the fridge before freezing. Later this winter, we’ll pull one out and defrost for a quick and easy dinner on a cold and tired evening.