Crema de Calabac√≠n (Zucchini Soup)

Crema de Calabacín (Zucchini Soup)
By: Kevin & Kayla
Difficulty: Easy
Prep/Cook Time: 30-40 Min

It’s an authentic Spanish soup with fresh, summery flavor.

Ingredients
Zucchini
Potatoes (baking / all-purpose)
Onion (vidalia/sweet)
Corn (canned or cooked/grilled and cut off a cob)
Cream (light / reduced fat)
Butter (SmartBalance)
Black Pepper
Salt

Directions

  1. Melt butter in the bottom of a large pan and saute the zucchini and chopped/diced onion (med to med-high heat). Add salt & pepper as necessary.
  2. Peel, chop/cube, and boil the potatoes. Drain when done, saving some of the hot water.
  3. When the zucchini/onion is done, add most of it to a food processor with some of the cream (we had to do this in two batches due to the size of our food processor). Puree the mixture, slowly adding the cream to reach a soupy consistency. Add olive oil too if desired.
  4. Add the zucchini/onion puree, potatoes, and corn to a pan on low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste and if necessary, stir in some of the extra potato water to reach a desired consistency.
  5. Simmer and stir on low heat for at least 10 minutes or until the smell is too good to wait any longer (we tasted it several times).

Additional Notes

  • Less is more. We kept the seasoning to a minimum – the true flavor of the pureed zucchini and onion is perfect as is.
  • We saved some of the sauteed onion to add directly to the soup during the last step to add a bit more texture.
  • We tried a few bites with shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top and it was very good.
  • We paired ours with a salad of green leaf lettuce and fresh vegetables, washed down with some wine although some sangria blanca would probably be best!

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup
By Kevin Berardinelli
Difficulty: Medium
Prep Time: 30 Min
Cooking Time: 2-3 Hours

Description

I’ve never made chicken soup from scratch before, so I figured it was about time. Looking at a few different recipes online, it seems one can get as creative as desired and there is no way to really mess up – perfect guidelines for a first time recipe!

Ingredients

1 Whole Chicken
Chicken Stock
Baby Carrots (half a small bag or so)
Yukon Gold Potatoes (a few small ones)
Egg Noodles (1/2 lb or so)
1 Large Sweet Onion
Fresh Parsley
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Marjoram, Rosemary, Thyme, Garlic Powder, Salt, Fresh Ground Black Pepper (to taste)

Directions

1. Rinse off the whole chicken (make sure innards bag is removed from inside). Place whole chicken in large soup pan/pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a very low/slow simmer. Cook the whole chicken as slow as possible to keep tender.

2. When the chicken is mostly done, you have a couple options. The first option is to drain all the water and leave just the chicken – replacing the liquid with chicken stock after fat & bones are removed. The second option is to skim the fat off the top of the water and keep the chicken stock you have made, using that as your broth. Either way, you’ll have nice chicken flavor. I went with option #1 to start fresh and remove excess fat from the liquid.

3. Chop all the vegetables and potatoes and add to the pot of broth/stock. Keep on a low simmer. Keep in mind you can add whatever vegetables you want here – mushrooms, squash, peppers, celery, etc – you choose the combo that best fits your appetite!

4. Remove all the bones and fat/skin from the chicken and break the meat into small shreds and chunks. Put all the meat back in the pot.

5. Add all the spices, including fresh chopped parsley. Keep at a low simmer. You can control the thickness by adding more water if necessary, covering the pot, and/or turning up the heat a bit to steam some out.

6. Add the egg noodles when you think you have about 20-30 min left.

7. Keep stirring and on a low simmer. Add some parmesan cheese towards the end for the best flavor in the entire universe.

8. Garnish with fresh parsley leaf, fresh ground black pepper, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Serve with a cold glass of milk (duh!).