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Friday, July 25, 2014

Two Zucchini Soups

My father-in-law paid me the nicest compliment the other day, after enjoying Grandma Betty's Zucchini Bread and a side dish of shredded zucchini with herbs (separately, not together!). He said, "You're a magician with zucchini." I'll add that to my list of job titles: zucchini magician!



Here are two zucchini soups. The first is from a neighbor, who told her kids she was serving green monster soup for dinner. The name was enough to entice her kids to eat it, but unfortunately it didn't work on mine. In fact Gabe said "I'm scared of monsters!" and then refused to have anything to do with it. The second, a bisque, is from a restaurant that used to be in St. George, Utah called the Gable House. My great-grandmother Melba enjoyed the soup there. Green monster soup is creamy and of course the bacon garnish is tasty. The bisque is lighter, with nutmeg a flavorful addition. Take your pick and enjoy; I like to accompany these soups with grilled cheese sandwiches.

green monster soup


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Green Monster Soup


Source: a neighbor, via an LDS ward zucchini cookbook

1 c onion, chopped
2 T butter
3 c zucchini, sliced
2 c chicken broth
3/4 teas salt
1/8 teas pepper
1/2 c half and half
1 c cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 c sour cream
4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender. Add sliced zucchini and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Cool slightly. Puree in blender, in batches if necessary. Return to pan and stir in half and half.

Reheat but do not boil. Stir in grated cheddar cheese and sour cream. Garnish with crumbled bacon at the table.

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Melba's Zucchini Bisque


Source: my great-grandmother Melba Tew Hayes

2 medium onions (~1/2 lb), finely chopped
2 T butter
1 1/2 lbs zucchini, sliced
3 c chicken broth
1/4 teas black pepper
1/8 teas nutmeg, freshly ground
1/8 teas salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 c half and half
optional garnishes: grated cheddar cheese, croutons

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender. Add sliced zucchini and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add seasonings. Puree in a blender, in batches if necessary. Return to pan and stir in half and half. Reheat, but do not boil. Garnish with cheese and croutons, if desired.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Banana Bread with Optional Chocolate Chips

Apparently chocolate is my only comfort food. This time I added chocolate to banana bread, because I  had bunches of bananas going bad on my counter. Dark chocolate chips are my favorite, of course, but use whatever you like. And the chocolate really is optional; this banana bread with walnuts is lovely on its own.




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Banana Bread with Optional Chocolate Chips


Adapted from Grandma Betty's recipe, originally via a neighbor in Price, Utah

1 c sugar
1/2 c butter, softened
3 bananas
2 eggs
2 c flour (I use 1 c whole wheat flour)
1 teas baking soda
1 teas vanilla
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1 pinch salt
1/2 c-2/3 c chocolate chips, depending on how chocolate-y you want it, and completely optional

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream sugar and butter; then add bananas, eggs, and vanilla and blend well. Add dry ingredients and mix. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips, if using. Bake in greased, floured loaf pan for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in loaf pan for ten minutes, then remove the bread and set it on a rack to cool completely.