So I have all of these vegetables – in my garden and in my kitchen just being asked to be cooked and eaten!
On Saturday, my husband took the boys out to lunch while I was at a health coaching event, a Health & Beauty event at a local Boscov’s department store. I came home so hungry, having missed lunch and checked out their lunch leftovers. They had gone to Shorty’s Sunflower Cafe in Pottstown, PA. I tried both of the items in the box. The sweet potato & cheese quesadilla was good, but the zucchini cornbread grilled cheese was amazing! And I have been craving it ever since.
So I got to the idea to recreate this for myself tonight and make a red pepper and tomato soup to go along with it.
The best part of this meal is that besides the olive oil and salt and pepper, all ingredients were either from our garden or from our CSA (community supported agriculture) share. All local fresh veggies – YUM!
First up is the Summer Red Pepper Tomato Soup!
First I took the skins off of the tomatoes and then chopped up the peppers, carrot, onions and garlic.
In a large pot, I warmed some olive oil and added in what I just chopped.
I then chopped up all of the tomatoes.
I added them to the pot to let them cook and break down for 15 minutes. I added in some water & orange juice and let it cook for 15 more minutes.
I then pureed what was in the pot and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.
As an additional step, I got about a cup of basil leaves, packed tight. I blended them up with some parmesan cheese and olive oil. And then drizzled it over my bowl of soup.
YUM! It was spectacular! Very fresh and perfect for all of those summer tomatoes!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 2 cups chopped red pepper
- 4 pounds very ripe tomatoes, peeled & roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- In a medium saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, red pepper and carrot and saute until tender, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the tomatoes and continue to cook, covered, until the tomatoes start breaking down - about 15 minutes.
- Add the water and orange juice and continue cooking, covered, until the tomatoes are completely broken up, about 15 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- While the soup is cooking, combine the basil leaves, parmesan cheese, and remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil in a blender and process until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and set aside.
- Remove the soup from the heat and puree. You can either puree in a blender, in batches, or with a stick blender.
- When ready to serve the soup, ladle into bowls and garnish with drizzles of the basil-parmesan puree.
- You can serve this soup cold, just be sure to check the seasoning before serving!
Now while this was going on, I was also juggling making the zucchini quick bread. Not hard, but the two at the same time posed quite a difficult task! I did it though!
The inspiration for this meal, after all, was the zucchini quick bread.
In the sandwich I tried from Shorty’s Sunflower Cafe, they made a cornbread zucchini bread. I did not have enough cornmeal, so I decided to use sprouted flour which gives a similar texture to cornmeal. It’s a bit gritty but in a great way!
First I browned the butter.
And then shredded the zucchini.
I mixed up 2 eggs with milk – then I added in the butter and shredded zucchini.
Then in a different bowl, I mixed up the flours and added the wet to the dry and combined. It went into the loaf pan and into the oven!
After baking, I had a wonderful, slightly sweet, gritty (in a good way) zucchini bread. Perfect with a little cheese melted over top of it or grilled up like a grilled cheese sandwich!
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 1 large zucchini (about 10 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cup sprouted flour
- 3/4 cup rice flour, oatmeal flour, AP gluten free flour, or regular AP flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until butter solids at bottom of pan turn golden brown, about 3 minutes.
- Scrape butter into a medium bowl and set it aside to cool. Whisk in the eggs and milk.
- Trim zucchini ends and coarsely grate it. Add to bowl with butter mixture and stir until well blended.
- In a large bowl, mix the sprouted flour, other flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
- Add the zucchini mixture and fold just to blend
- Transfer the batter to prepared pan and bake the bread until golden, about 55-65 minutes.
- Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
- Don't have sprouted flour? You can use 3/4 cup corn meal and 1 1/2 cups of AP flour instead.