Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Five Ways To Use All That Zucchini!

I know I'm not the only one who has an abundance of zucchini and yellow squash coming out of the garden right now....after all, 'tis the season!

I've been trying out some new recipes lately for all that zucchini goodness....and so far, each and every recipe has been an overwhelming success!


First off, I made a variation on my favorite Grilled Veggie Sandwich. 

Easy peasy, I've made things like this many times in the past. 



It's basically layers of grilled veggies heaped on toasted garlic bread with slices of good feta and some fresh basil. 

I seasoned the zucchini and yellow squash before grilling, with a drizzle of olive oil and an Italian seasoning blend. Roasted red peppers, grilled tomatoes and grilled onions rounded out the veggies, although eggplant would be a nice addition as well. 

This sandwich works well with goat cheese and a smear of good pesto on a nice crusty bread also, topped with a tiny drizzle of balsamic. 

May I just say.....YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!


You already saw my Summer Garden Bolognese in a recent post - that was a super tasty way to use up some of the zucchini, and to preserve it in a different way for the months ahead. 

Next up were two soup experiments. 

Because, this happened:


Between our two gardens, this is a daily harvest now. Yikes!

It's amazing....and I am so blessed. And it also keeps me busy as can be!

Of course, we are giving some to friends as well, but that still leaves plenty to be creative with!


The soups always start out the same way, in My Best Friend, with a drizzle of olive oil and some chopped onion. 

The first soup I tried with the zucchini was a Zucchini Corn Chowder. 


After the onions, in went some chopped carrots....


...and chopped celery. Classic Mirepoix. Once they softened a bit, I made a hole in the center for a pat of butter and sauteed about 8 garlic cloves, minced. 

When the garlic was fragrant, I sprinkled about 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, and 1/4 tsp dried basil over the veggies. 

Next came the chicken stock - I used Swanson's Low Fat Reduced Sodium stock, 2 containers (8 cups total.)

I added 5 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks. They simmered with the stock and veggies and herbs, making the whole kitchen smell like heaven. 

When the potatoes were fork tender, I added in a large zucchini, scrubbed and cubed. 

I simmered the zucchini for about 15 minutes or so, and then in went some corn kernels, cut off some leftover grilled corn on the cob. And some frozen corn kernels as well. I love corn. 

Last but not least, about 1/2 cup of cooked, chopped bacon. 

Because.....BACON!


While the chowder was simmering on the stove, I whipped up a loaf of Zucchini Cheddar Chive Buttermilk Quick Bread....which was amazing, and super simple to make. A keeper recipe, for sure. 


Dinner was a bowl of chowder with warm freshly baked bread. 

While a storm raged outside, and the candles flickered around my little house. 

It was a very, very good meal. 


To top it off, this recipe made 4 additional quarts of soup for the freezer - woo hoo!

Last night, I made a Cream of Zucchini Soup, and we finished off the rest of that yummy bread. 

This time, I started the soup with three large onions, chopped, and a head of garlic, minced. No carrots or celery for this soup. 

Next came about 1/4 tsp of dried thyme, and some freshly ground pepper. 


I used the same Swanson broth, two containers (8 cups total) and added a large zucchini, scrubbed and cubed. 

This all simmered with the lid on for about 20 minutes or so, until the zucchini was very tender. 

Then it went for a whirl with my handy dandy immersion blender.  I've had this one for about ten years, I'd say, and it makes pureeing a soup or sauce so simple. A MUST HAVE for anyone who makes soups! 

I seasoned the soup at this point with some more freshly ground pepper and about 1/2 teaspoon of Vermont Country Seasoning, one of my all time favorite seasoning blends. 

To make it a little more creamy, I added about 1/2 cup of organic half and half. 

And cheese. Oh yes, glorious cheese!  I used about a cup of parmesan and a cup of shredded Sargento Italian Cheese Blend. 

I tasted for seasoning, and knew just what would finish this soup off perfectly. 


I headed out to the herb garden to grab some fresh chives and basil. A rough, chop, and into the soup they went. 

One more spin around with the immersion blender, and perfection was achieved at last!


The flavor of this soup was just out of this world! The absolute only thing I would change for next time is to add a little more zucchini so it would be thicker when I puree it. 

Other than that? Pure heaven. 

The best part? Three containers in the freezer for the winter. And lots more zucchini in the basket to make multiple batches of this incredible soup!


Yup, this is in my dining room at the moment, waiting for me!

So, there you have it - 5 ways I have experimented with using up and putting up zucchini for the winter. 

Every one of these experiments was a resounding success, and I would highly encourage you to try them all!

And when  you do, let me know what you think!

31 comments:

  1. Oh my word, the soups sound delicious. I need to make some.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy them, Marty! I love making homemade soups - I can control the ingredients, especially the sodium, and also they freeze well!

      Delete
  2. WOW, I thought I knew every way to cook it, but you have it over on me. I will be trying your recipes. We have alot of zucchini here and we love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you do try them, Betty, and I hope you love them!

      Delete
  3. Did somebody say BACON????? Im also gonna have to try the quick bread and I love chowder!!!!
    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You heard me right....BACON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When I make bacon, I cook off the whole pound, and put the cooked bacon in the freezer for emergencies just like this! :)

      Delete
  4. Frankly, I wouldn't even know what to do with zucchini... Unfortunately.
    Brenda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You might just like it, Brenda - and now you know five things you can do with zucchini!!

      Delete
  5. I've just had my dinner and now I want more! Your veggies look so beautiful and the food you've made makes my mouth water. I love soup any time and yours looks so delish! I have the same pot as yours. Don't you just love it? Mine is red too! Thanks for popping in to see me and telling me about your Instagram.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I absolutely love that pot - it's one of the best investments I ever made in my kitchen! Now if only I could get a Viking range to go with it, I'd be in heaven!

      Delete
  6. Thank you for this post, Deborah. I just may get through my zucchini after-all.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You are such a creative and talented chef. You have an eye for ingredients and how to combine them into tasty and nutritious dishes. You do know you would be a fabulous guest on Chopped!
    Happy Cooking my dear!
    Jemma

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha, I don't know if I'd go that far, Jemma, but thank you so much! You're such a sweetie!!

      Delete
  8. Oh my Lord....you hit it out of the park. Everyone of your recipes sound out of this world! I'm going to try them all. By the way, I've never seen zucchini that color before. Does it taste the same as the darker skinned variety?

    Have you considered writing a cookbook?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha, I can barely find time these days to write a blog post, never mind a cookbook! But, hey, who knows? Maybe someday! I'd have to be a lot more organized with my recipes, and more precise with my measurements, though, wouldn't I?? :)

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. Ha ha well I'm sure there's lots more to come in your garden, Valerie!

      Delete
  10. Thank you for sharing those wonderful recipes. I love zucchini and have been craving it lately. I have 1 yellow squash that is about ready to pick and I can't wait!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for sharing those wonderful recipes. I love zucchini and have been craving it lately. I have 1 yellow squash that is about ready to pick and I can't wait!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's nothing like home grown veggies, Debbie - enjoy your yellow squash!

      Delete
  12. Thie soup looks so delicious!! Wait... Everything looks delicious! Thank You for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you will try some of the recipes, Nancy! Welcome to my little blog!

      Delete
  13. Oh, my those soups look delicious! I can't do it this year because of the move but would like to try it next year. Will the recipes be on your sidebar somewhere or do I have to save this day's blog? Thanks for sharing. Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmmm....all my recipes link to the recipe tab on the top, I guess maybe you can do a search for zucchini?

      Delete
  14. Gracious me! What a collection. It really amazes me how versatile zucchini really is. Ironically, my post for today is about zucchini muffins. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course it is, Mountain Sister - kindred spirits, remember?

      Delete
  15. These soups both sound great. But lol I still see a lot of zucchini in your last photo to wade through! :) Make a tiella ...I have it on my blog somewhere but basicially it's Italian sausage, potatoes, onions, peppers and tons of zucchini With tomatoes....canned if the garden ones are not ready yet, or garden ones, pureed for a sauce. A big pan of this is usually a big hit at a potluck when I bring it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We gave a little away, but it ripens in the garden faster than we can give it away, Deb! I'm going to check out that recipe on your blog - can't wait to try it, how amazing would that be on pasta in the winter months - wow!!

      Delete
  16. You need to open a restaurant (or a bed and breakfast with that fabulous mountaintop home and garden you have) and I need a reservation. I literally just ate dinner and my mouth is watering...yum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh boy, I don't think I would want to be 'tied' to cooking as my job, then it wouldn't be fun any more!!

      Delete

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment...I truly love reading your comments and I try to respond to each and every one of your sweet comments right here on my blog page!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...