Summer Squash Soup with Tahini Mint Garnish

Summer Squash Soup

Alice Waters is another foodie who’s inspired me. An author and restaurant owner, she was instrumental early on in the grassroots movement of eating local and fresh.  I found this recipe for Summer Squash Soup in her cookbook, The Art Of Simple Food.  I kept everything the same as her recipe, except I changed up her topping of Yogurt/Mint paste to a creamy addition of *Tahini Mint paste for garnish.

Our summer squash is just now coming on and it’s about 3 weeks later than normal!  We’ve been watching and waiting in great anticipation to make some of our favorite dishes.  Crookneck squash is especially so tasty right out of the garden.  I served it with a TLTA ( *Tempeh Lettuce Tomato and Avacado ) open faced sandwich and a fresh salad.  A nice light dinner after a hot summer day.

Summer Squash Soup ( serves 6 – 8 )

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 onion sliced

Pinch of saffron threads (optional)

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon coriander

¼ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon paprika

2 cloves garlic

½ teaspoon ceyenne pepper (optional)

5 medium summer squash (a mixture of zucchini and yellow crookneck) cut into ¾ inch
slices

1 teaspoon sea salt

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

3 cups water

Tahini Paste

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

6 mint leaves chopped fine

¼ cup plus 1Tablespoon sesame tahini

¼ teaspoon sea salt

2 garlic cloves minced

Directions: Heat oil and add the onion and all of the spices.  Cook the onions and
seasonings until the onions are soft but not browned.  If the onions start to stick, turn the heat
down and add a splash of water.

When onions are soft and fragrant, add the chopped squash.
We prefer the flavor of yellow squash so I use mostly crookneck with some zucchini.  Add salt and stir to coat the squash and combine ingredients.

Saute for 2-4 minutes then add the broth and water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15minutes.

While soup is cooking make the tahini mint paste by mixing all ingredients together in a
small bowl until it forms a smooth thick sauce.

Blend the pot of soup  with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender.  Serve with a dollop of tahini paste and garnished with a mint leaf, if desired.

Another quick idea for using your fresh summer squash:  slice in 1/4 inch rounds and toss with thick sliced onions and a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place directly on your grill and cook a few minutes on each side.  Serve over a bed of fresh lettuce.  Enjoy with your favorite dressing.

Here’s to savoring the last few weeks of summer!

From my table to yours,

Amy

What is Tahini and Tempeh?

* Tahini is a paste that is made from finely ground sesame seeds.  It’s a nutritional powerhouse, being high in vitamins E, B1,2,3,5,and 6. Tahini is also 20 percent complete protein – making it a richer protein source than milk.  Tahini is high in minerals such as magnesium, potassium, iron, and phosphorus, and is an excellent source of calcium. 

*Tempeh: Although it may be new to the west, tempeh is a soy food that has been eaten in Asia for hundreds of years. Tempeh is made from cooked and slightly fermented soybeans and formed into a patty, similar to a very firm veggie burger. Many commercially prepared brands add other grains, such as barley, and also add spices and extra flavors. Although tempeh is made from soy, it has a unique taste and is mildly flavorful on it’s own, unlike tofu. If you aren’t fond of tofu, tempeh is also very high in protein and calcium, as well as beneficial isoflavones, but tastes nothing like tofu. Tempeh has a textured and nutty flavor. www.about.com

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