Being out and about this summer was great. I got to do things I have never done before: stay in a B&B in the Rockies, hike the Appalachian Trail, watch Brazil play against Japan in a Brazilian bar in NYC, walk the Freedom Trail in Boston... And then I got to share places I love with people I love visiting from Brazil. Disneyland. San Diego. Santa Barbara. But with all this, I missed out on one of my favorite times of the week: going to the farmers' market.
Yes, that truly is one of my favorite times. When else, or where else, do you surround yourself with people rubbing shoulders, exchanging cash instead of swiping plastic, talking with familiar strangers?
I had plans to go while I was on the East Coast, but each attempt failed. Besides, what would I do with fresh produce in my hotel room, really? Yeah... not much.
Finally, after two months, I headed down to the market with my usual $12. I don't know where I got the number 12 from, but it has become my norm (grab a ten and two ones... I seem to always have that laying around).
I must admit, the summer selection has some of my least favorite things. I actually miss the kale and the butternut squash that winter and early spring provide. The berries and stone fruit are nice, but I never get that many. Maybe because I know my $12 won't spread very far if I buy fruit... so I pretty much stick to the veggies. (Luckily for me, we have a ton of farm stands nearby that sell fruit for cheaper than the farmers' market, even though they are many of the same vendors.) This week my bag filled up with leeks, beets, green onions, and a bunch of summer squash.
But then I had a problem: What do I do with this squash? Other than cook it and through some garlic salt on it, I had never really done anything with this vegetable...
Yay for readers who follow along on Facebook! I threw the question out there and got three DELICIOUS ideas, one of which I had all the ingredients on hand already. And so, Summer Squash Soup, compliments of Donna, was set out for dinner. Easy and fresh, the perfect way to enjoy my farmers' market produce!
I guess the farmers' market isn't the only place you rub shoulders with others...
SUMMER SQUASH SOUP
Recipe slightly adapted from blog reader, Donna. Thank you!
SERVES 4 • PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES • TOTAL TIME: 40 MINUTES
· Large white onion, chopped
· Large leek (white and light green portion), thinly sliced
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· 6 cloves of garlic, minced
· 6 summer squash of any variety, peeled and cubed
· 2 cans (14 oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth, such as Swenson’s
· 4 fresh thyme sprigs
· ¼ teaspoon salt
· 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
· ¼ cup shredded Parmesan, to top
· ¼ cup green onion, chopped, to top
- In a large saucepan, saute onions and leek in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add squash; saute 5 minutes.
- Stir in the broth, thyme and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until squash is tender. Discard thyme sprigs. Cool slightly.
- In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth. Return all to the pan. Stir in lemon juice and heat through. Sprinkle each serving with cheese and green onion.