Who says soups are only for cold, wet or wintery days? I’m definitely a soup and salad girl at heart, and I don’t mind them at all in the summertime, especially when I find one that is heavy on the vegetables. And speaking of vegetables… It’s that time of year again. The time of year when you have to figure out what the heck to do with all that zucchini and yellow squash that is pouring in. Sometimes it feels like a mixed blessing, as once you begin picking it, you can barely keep up with using it, even if you have friends and family to share it with. After all, one can only eat so much zucchini bread. And you can’t let it go to waste. So when you need to use up excess veggies, in my house, it’s time to make soup. This yellow squash and tomato soup is one of my all time favorites, especially for summer. It’s light and has a unique blend of vegetables that make it a little different, healthy and sooo delicious.
Now I have to admit that the squash for my soup today came from my sister’s heavy harvest instead of mine. For some odd reason, I have beautiful yellow squash plants that are loaded with blooms, but no signs of a baby squash coming on anywhere. Perhaps there are a shortage of bees in the area and they are not getting pollinated, but it seems like there are plenty of other flying bugs, butterflies and the like, so I’m not sure what the problem is with my squash plants. Perhaps I need to take a paint brush and try to transfer the pollen myself??? Anyone else have this issue? I’d love some advice.
Anyway, on to making this summertime soup. This recipe is fairly quick and easy to pull together and paired with a salad, makes a nice light meal. If you have a large supply of yellow squash and tomatoes, don’t hesitate to double or triple the recipe, as it freezes and reheats quite well. If zucchini is what you need to use up, I’d think it would work fine too, but I’ve always made this with yellow squash.
Summertime Soup Recipe
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 medium size Onion, chopped
1 large Garlic Clove, minced
1 red, yellow or orange Bell Pepper, chopped
2 large Yellow Squash, chopped (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup chopped Fennel Bulb
1 stalk Celery chopped
2-3 large, ripe Tomatoes
1/2 cup of Vegetable Stock
1 1/2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
Salt & Pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan. Then sauté the onions until they begin to soften. Add the peppers, garlic, celery, and fennel bulb. Note that you don’t have to be too concerned with how fine you chop the vegetables, as they will later be pureed in the blender. So just coarsely chop them in a way that they will likely cook fairly evenly. Continue to sauté until the vegetables begin to soften and even caramelize, the onions turning just slightly brown in color.
Then add the yellow squash, tomatoes and seasonings. While it is not necessary, I do prefer to peel my tomatoes for this recipe. If they are well ripened, you can easily do this with a sharp knife. If not, the easiest way to remove the peel is to cut a small X on the bottom of the tomatoes and then dunk them in a pot of boiling water for about a minute. Then quickly transfer the tomatoes with a slotted spoon into ice cold water. You should be easily able to remove the peel at this point.
Allow your soup mixture to cook for about 10-15 minutes at a low simmer, or until the vegetables become nice and soft. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for at least 15 minutes so that it will be easier to handle with the blender and to avoid a chance of getting burned with the hot liquid when you begin to pour it.
Using a glass blender, pulse about 2 cups of the soup mixture at a time just to blend the vegetables and spices well, but not enough to make it into a smooth puree. If you don’t have a glass blender, you can still take steps to blend it, just be sure you wait until the mixture has cooled before using a plastic blender or food processor. You can reheat the soup prior to serving or this particular recipe also is nice served just slightly warmed. A sprinkle of chopped fennel leaves, basil or fresh dill with dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream makes a nice garnish. Hope you give this a try and like it as much as we do!