Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Summer Squash Soup with Basil

Whoa baby. You are going to see A LOT of South Beach Diet phase 1 dinners over the next few weeks.... so be prepared! We're going on our Anniversary Vacation soon, and we plan to eat as fancily as we can afford while in Vegas... so... we need all the spare calories we can get! (That, and I imagine the bulk of our days will be spent lounging at the pool... in swimsuits... you see where I am going with this?)

So anyway, Dave suggested we do the SBD... and initially, I hated the idea. I still remembered the first time, years ago, that we did phase 1... and how cranky and miserable we were... sure, we both lost a delightful amount of poundage... but still... No cereal or crackers or ice cream? Fiiiiiine. I was resistant, very resistant, but realized that this was what he wanted to do, and I'm the one that makes the food.. so... by default.. I had to go along for the ride, too. (And considering all the stuff *I* get *him* to do... its only fair!)

All that aside, what's different this time around is that we have better resources. I have two more SBD cookbooks (and they rock) and we have a far better understanding of how to cope with our various cravings... so... bring it on! (and it helps that in the last week, we've both slimmed down) (yay motivation)

Anyway, this soup recipe has a skoshy bit of flour in it, and it was on our menu before our rules had been established, but I think that it mostly still counts... its vegetable and stock based, and the flour itself plays such a minor role... Sure, I'm rationalizing... but whatever.

The recipe didn't call for curry or Cayenne pepper, but I added them at the end, after I'd blended everything together. I thought it needed a little something, and I knew squash soup and curry were friends. This recipe was also useful for us, because it allowed me to cook up all the yellow squash my mom brought over, so that I didn't incur any guilt letting it rot. Thanks, Mom!

Quick, easy, tasty, and healthy. I'll take it.

Summer Squash Soup with Basil
Recipe courtesy of Curtis Aikens, via Food Network

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ¼ lbs zucchini, crookneck or pattypan squash, roughly chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 cups Summer Vegetable Stock
½ cup julienned basil
1 ½ tablespoons butter, softened
1 ½ tablespoons flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Sour cream or plain yogurt as an accompaniment

[Added curry and cayenne pepper to taste.]

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stockpot, add zucchini and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent and zucchini is crisp tender. Then add stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and partially cover and cook for 25 minutes. Add basil during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Mix the butter and flour together into a paste. Remove 1 cup of simmering stock and whisk in butter mixture until smooth. Add back into soup, stir until thickened. Remove soup from heat to a blender and puree until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add lemon juice and serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

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