I sat staring at the screen of my phone yesterday morning, astonished and somewhat confounded, after my husband informed me via text that this coming weekend is, in fact, Labor Day weekend. You know, that extra long weekend that marks end of summer and the beginning of the steady march into autumn (and then the dreaded winter season…don’t even think about that four-letter “s” word that ends in “now”).
When did this happen?
Ok, so some of the early foliage is turning yellow. Sure, that could be a clue. And nights have been cooler. Back to School ads are everywhere and yeah, ok, it’s been a few weeks since I changed out my monthly contacts at the beginning of August, but who’s counting? Clearly I haven’t been.
Inspired by an (ongoing) abundance of zucchini and of course, one of my favorite lovely bloggers, Joy The Baker, I’ve decided that whipping up a bisque is an absolute must.
And while I can imagine an eyebrow lifted in skepticism because soup in summer does seem like the odd choice when one wishes to hang on to the vestiges of fun in the sun time, I assure you that you’ll find this bisque delightfully appropriate regardless of the weather outside. It’s light, tasty and packed with veggies that won’t infringe on yet one more weekend of swimsuit season. The stars of the show are the four cups of garden zucchini and the vast quantity of tomatoes.
Tomatoes get their reddish hue from a chemical called lycopene, an antioxidant that may protect cells from cancer-causing free radicals.
I love a good tomato bisque. You can make it a light meal on it’s own or with some roasted corn on the side (or in my bread-obsessed kitchen, a fresh baked baguette). Since this recipe is pretty huge, I’m freezing half and saving it for the next time grilled cheese sandwiches come calling.
Tomato Zucchini Bisque
adapted from Joy the Baker
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add zucchini, carrots, celery, and onion to the pot, then saute the vegetables stirring occasionally for about 10-12 minutes or until zucchini is nearly cooked through and the onions soften. Add garlic, stir and cook for 1 more minute.
Add thyme and bay leaves to the sauteed veggies and stir to incorporate.
Add tomatoes, chicken stock, and water. Stir. Add red pepper flakes, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir (you’re getting the picture).
Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer (uncovered) stirring occasionally. Cook for about 30 minutes.
Remove soup from heat. Hunt for the bay leaves and remove them. Ladle soup into a blender until it’s about 1/2 full, COVER, then blend until smooth.
Place blended soup in a clean pot or bowl. Stir in milk once all of the soup has been properly blended. Taste and season, as necessary.