Here’s one for my vegetarian pals, or anyone who likes to incorporate an occasional meatless main course: a veggie-centric soup-and-sandwich combo made with fresh farmers market ingredients.
A couple of weeks back, I posted on 5 fall produce soup ideas, and briefly mentioned this one: roasted butternut squash soup studded with sautéed summer squash and zucchini. It showcases the range of produce available in south Louisiana right now. We can still get a lot of summer produce alongside the inaugural harvest of fall vegetables. And with fresh tomato bruschetta on the plate, too, this dinner takes advantage of Southern vegetables that refuse to be confined to just one season.
Curried 3-squash soup
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery, leaves included
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
2 cups roasted butternut squash (skin and seeds removed)
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 dried bay leaves
½ teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup half-and-half
2 yellow squash, diced
2 zucchini, diced
½ cup crumbled feta
Fresh basil or chives for garnish
In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil to medium high and add onions and celery. Sautee until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 more minutes. Remove pot from heat. Place both roasted butternut squash and sautéed vegetables in food processor and puree until smooth. Add about one cup of the stock to processor and puree until liquid is thoroughly incorporated. Return squash mixture to pot, turn heat to medium and whisk in remaining 3 cups of stock. Add bay leaves, curry powder and thyme. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Whisk in half-and-half and turn off heat.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet and sauté the diced yellow squash and zucchini until soft, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat.
Taste, and correct with salt and pepper if necessary. When ready to serve, ladle soup into a bowl and add about 2 tablespoons diced sautéed squash, 2 tablespoons crumbled feta and chopped fresh herbs to center. Serve immediately.
Big ol’ fresh tomato* bruschetta
4 ½ -inch thick slices good quality sourdough or Italian bread
1 garlic clove, peeled
Extra virgin olive oil
2 fresh tomatoes, sliced crosswise into discs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place bread slices directly onto oven rack for about 5 minutes, or until slightly crisp. Remove from oven. Turn on broiler.
Place slices on a cookie sheet and rub each slice with the peeled garlic clove. Drizzle a little olive oil onto each slice, then top with sliced tomatoes. Add a pinch of dried oregano and salt and pepper. Top with shredded mozzarella. Slide slices under broiler until cheese melts. Serve immediately.