Entries Tagged as 'zucchini'

“Grilled” Zucchini and Cheese Canapés

These elegant appetizer bites are ready in about 10 minutes, start to finish. [Read more →]

Silky Smooth Creamy Zucchini Soup with “Pan Frito”

Let me just start off right away and say that the pan frito?  Is not optional. lmao  Pan frito, or “fried bread” makes this subtly flavored soup really something special.  As I’m sure you already know, we are soup junkies in this house.  I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and, in fact, do so often.  You see, one of my kids is anti-vegetable.  (the nerve!)  But if I make this?  I sneak lots of veggies into her at once.  mwa-ha-haaa  You can add more veggies to this, spinach is a great addition.  And it’s easy.  I mean *really* easy.

zucchini soup


2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion
2 pounds (1 kilo) zucchini
1 smaller sweet potato
2-3 potatoes
2 carrots
1 double cube of bouillon
water to cover vegetables
1 cup milk or evaporated milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 slices of bread, cubed


Heat oil over medium high heat and lightly brown the garlic.
Add remaining vegetables, roughly chopped (peel the sweet potatoes,potatoes and carrots).
Add enough water to cover the vegetables, and your bouillon cube.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low.
Allow to cook about 20-30 minutes, until veggies are tender.
Remove from heat, and add the milk.
Using an immersion blender, buzz up your soup until smooth.
Serve with pan frito and freshly grated Parmesan.
To make the pan frito, heat the olive oil in a skillet, and toss the bread around until golden.

Potaje Canario de Verduras (Canarian Vegetable Stew)

Potaje (pronounced po-TAH-hay) is a delicious multi vegetable stew very typical of the Canary Islands.  Here, rather than have all the food served at once, meals are served in courses.  Generally a first course, which can be either a soup, stew, salad, or pasta and is then followed by the main course and of course following that, dessert and coffee.  Many restaurants in Spain offer a lunch “menu,” where you can choose a first and second course from the day’s specials, and it comes with a beverage and dessert.  I’m pretty sure that the variety of potajes are as varied as the chefs that prepare them.  There are lentil potajes, watercress potajes (look for this one soon), corn potaje…the limit is your own creativity, much like soups and stews everywhere else in the world.  Let me share with you my mil’s recipe for Potaje Canario….




*note, add or subract at your preference, the amounts are approximate.

2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon smokey paprika
2 ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced
1 onion, diced
a few sprigs of thyme
1-2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 cob corn, broken in two pieces
3 zucchini, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 large handful green beans, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
1 large handful of fresh pinto beans, shucked (you can also use canned)
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 of a sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 chunk of pumpkin, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 thick slice of bacon, sliced (omit for vegan/vegetarian)
enough broth to generously cover vegetables (I used about 3 1/2 quarts I’d guess?)


In a large stockpot (this makes a LOT!), heat olive oil and saute garlic just until golden.
Add tomatoes, onions, paprika, thyme and bay, then season with salt and pepper.
Saute until vegetables are tender (this is called the “refrito.”)
Add remaining ingredients and generously cover with stock.
Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer about 30 minutes.
Remove lid and simmer another hour or so, until the stew begins to thicken.
Adjust seasoning.
Serve with Queso Fresco and nice crispy baguettes.

More soup? Why, yes, thank you! Zuppa di Pasta Alfredo

So there’s this train of recipes just patiently waiting to be posted on the site…but the thing is, is that I’ve been busy with the aftermath of the kids being home.  Yes, I am *still* finding remnants of those twisty tie things they so abundantly fasten kids’ toys with today in the strangest of corners.  The aftermath of the holiday vacation has been keeping me busy…everything seems to be out of place.  Like, why on Earth is that sock hanging from the door handle?  Why are *all* of the dvd’s out of their cases?  And OH!  Watch out!  Remote control car on the loose!  So.  My sweet little recipes are all waiting patiently in line at Flickr.  Asking which one gets to be first….”Pick me!  Pick me!” they say.  Hopefully I will be able to post them all over the next week (supposing that I can keep up with the newer things I plan to make, and not perpetuate the queue! haha). 

This recipe comes to us from my Mom, Carla.  She made a similar one over the holidays and sent me the recipe.  It sounded SO good!  And dang…it sure was!  It makes a huge batch, though, so if you’re not feeding a large family or an army, you might want to scale it back a bit.  I sort of took the “idea” of her recipe and ran with it, I looked at the ingredient list added some stuff, subtracted some stuff, and winged it.  This is one of those soups that is a whole meal in itself, hearty, satisfying and oh, so good.  I hope you like it as much as we did! :)

And now for something new…I’d like to suggest a Rosé wine to accompany this soup…something not too dry, not too fruity, with just a hint of a bubble, but not quite…El Coto Rosado.

zuppa di pasta alfredo


2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, peeled and diced
1 pound chicken breast, diced
2 zucchini, chopped
1 head broccoli, in florets
1 head cauliflower, in florets
1 cup peas
4 quarts chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup freshly grated grana padano cheese
2 cups tortellini


In a large (huge) stockpot, melt butter and saute garlic first, until golden.
Add onions, carrots and celery and saute a couple of minutes more.
Add chicken and brown (good brown bits make for delicious soup!).
Add remaining vegetables and broth and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, prepare alfredo.
Melt butter in a saucepan, then whisk in flour, salt and pepper…throw in some garlic powder too.
Gradually add milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
Stir the sauce constantly until thickened.
Then remove from heat and whisk in cheese.
Adjust seasoning.
Whisk the sauce into the soup quickly.
Add tortellini and cook 15 minutes more.

Hearty Minestrone with Tortellini

Minestrone is such a great soup for winter, isn’t it?  It has a little bit of everything in it, and is so versatile.  The ingredients can be changed up to fit anyone’s tastes, whether you like it with bits of ham or bacon, with cheesy tortellini (as I’ve done here), or easily made vegan as well.  This is a great recipe if you have a bunch of odds and ends in the refrigerator that  you’re looking for ways to use, too.  Don’t be frightened by the long list of ingredients, this is one of the easiest things in the world to make, and not only that, it’s hearty, delicious, and warming for those icky cold winter blahs.



2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper of choice, chopped
1 16 ounce (400 grams) can plum tomatoes, crushed
1/2 head cabbage, roughly chopped
2-3 ribs celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
a generous handful of green beans, trimmed and cut
a generous handful of pinto beans, shucked
2-3 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 small acorn (or other) squash, peeled and diced
2-3 zucchini, washed and chopped
1 large bunch spinach, washed and chopped
1 cup peas
1 cup corn
3 quarts vegetable broth (or more to generously cover vegetables)
oregano, basil and thyme to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
2 cups tortellini


Using a large stockpot, saute garlic in olive oil until golden, then add onions and stir around a bit.
Add remaining ingredients except tortellini and bring to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat to low.
Cook about an hour then add tortellini.
Bring back to a boil, then cover and remove from heat.
Allow to stand about 30 minutes (to cook tortellini).
Serve with freshly grated parmigiana if desired.

Creamy Spinach Soup

Winter is upon us, and with the cold temps and gloomy days, soup is always a great way to warm up your insides, and comfort the soul.  You may already know that I’m a soup junkie…and have been known to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So?  You got a problem with that?  I didn’t think so.  lmao ;)   This one is my daughter Ellie’s favorite.  “Soup with cheese,” she calls it.  I know immediately what she wants when she asks for “Soup with cheese,” even though it sounds vague….that’s bein’ a mom for ya.  This one pays frequent visits to our table, not only because it’s delicious, but because it is a fabulous way to pack the veggies into your kids without them even realizing it. LOL  I could put one of every veggie in this soup and the kids would gobble it up.  One thing I need to mention…the fried bread?  You must add it.  It’s not optional.  No sirree.  You will be SO glad you took the time to make it, because man…those crispy little bits contrasting with the silky soup?  There’s just nuthin’ like it. :)

creamy spinach soup 


1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
4 zucchini (about 3-4 cups)
1/2 pound frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 sweet potato
3 large potatoes
2 double bouillon cubes (Knorr)
water (about 1 1/2-2 quarts)
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
8 triangles laughing cow cheese
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk


Heat olive oil in a large soup pot.
Saute sliced garlic until golden, then add remaining vegetables and toss around for a few minutes.
Add water, bouillon cubes, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to med-low.
Simmer for about 20-30 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Remove from heat, add cheese and evaporated milk.
Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth (or alternatively, use a blender and puree in batches).
Adjust salt and pepper.
Serve with grated cheese and fried bread cubes.
*to make fried bread cubes, heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet, toss in bread cubes and toss around until golden.

creamy spinach soup


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