October

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Given the recent chilly temperatures I can’t help but think about it being “soup season.”  I have included two recipes that we really enjoy and I think you will as well.  The two are great together or used alone or in combination with other menu items.  The flatbread recipe is an especially good appetizer item.
Remember, you can always send me your favorites to include in this spot.

Minestrone Soup

 2 TBSPS Olive Oil

1 Large Onion, diced

3 Carrots, sliced

2 Celery Ribs, sliced

1 Bunch Spinach or Swiss Chard, coarsely chopped

1 Zucchini, sliced or diced – your preference

1 Clove of Garlic, diced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1 scant TBSP brown sugar

2, 14 ounce cans Beef Broth (may need a portion of another)

1, 14 ounce can stewed tomatoes

1, 14 ounce can kidney beans

very small pasta – about 1/2 to 3/4 cup and cook according to package directions-drain
or use a refrigerated brand of cheese-filled tortellini for a heartier addition

Salt and Pepper to taste

Grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling over each individual bowl of soup

Heat oil in stock pot over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is tender and garlic fragrant.  Add beef broth, stewed tomatoes, carrots, celery, and dried herbs.  Cover pot and simmer about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Add zucchini, entire can of kidney beans and liquid, and brown sugar – you can start with less brown sugar and adjust according to taste.  I use it to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.  Simmer for 5 minutes and then add chard or spinach and simmer another 5 minutes.  Add the cooked pasta, season with salt and pepper and add additional beef broth if soup seems too thick.   Serves between 4 and 6, depending on serving size.

 

Cheesy Zucchini and Red Onion Flatbread

4 – 6 servings

Nonstick Vegetable Spray

1 10-ounce tube refrigerated pizza dough

3/4 cup spinach and artichoke cheese spread (such as Alouette), divided

3/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, divided

3 TBSPS chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided

1 small red onion

1 7-8 inch long zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/8 inch rounds, divided

 

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; spray with nonstick spray.  Unroll pizza dough unto parchment.  Spread half of cheese mixture over long half of dough, leaving 1/2 inch plain border.  Sprinkle with half of parmesan and 2 TBSP parsley.  Using parchment as an aid, fold plain half of dough over filled half – do not seal edges.  Spread remaining herb cheese over the top; sprinkle with remaining parmesan.  Remove enough outer layers of red onion to yield 2 inch diameter core; cut into 1/8 inch rounds.  Arrange 1 row of slightly overlapping zucchini rounds down one long side of dough.  Arrange onion rounds down the center of the dough.  Arrange another row of slightly overlapping zucchini rounds down the other side of the dough.  Spray with nonstick spray, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake bread until puffed and deep brown at edges, about 24 minutes.  Sprinkle with last TBSP of parsley.  Let stand for 5 minutes and cut crosswise into slices and serve.

 

 

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