Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Almost Summer Soup (Porcini and zucchini soup with walnut basil pesto)

So, we're having a warm snap in New York right now and I LOVE it. Windows open, sandals on and air drying my hair instead of bundling up on the way to work (and having SUNSHINE when you leave for work instead of freezing cold darkness and/or snow and rain) is pretty amazing.

We're a day late because Mary had to catch up on work after her vacation, but don't worry, this soup is worth it. It's vegan, but surprisingly filling. Sounds complex, but is really simple to make. And it straddles that line between a hot day and a cooler night quite well. It's also delicious and I made up the recipe, so I'm feeling super proud. SO:

Almost Summer Soup (Porcini and zucchini soup with walnut basil pesto)

  • THE SET-UP (things to do while you're doing other things)

  • Chop up 3 red potatoes and bring to a boil in a separate pot until you can stick a fork in them easily, but they aren't too soft

  • Throw about half a cup to a cup of walnuts onto a cookie tray and put in the oven at 250 for 5-10 minutes until toasted, then set aside to cool

  • microwave about 4 cups of water for about 5 minutes and put in an ounce of dried porcini mushrooms to soak, re-heating as necessary


  • Chop about 5 cloves of garlic and sauté in olive oil with a sprig of fresh rosemary and a few sprigs of fresh thyme

  • Add half a white onion and the white and light green parts of three leeks, chopped and cook covered to reserve liquid

  • Once fragrant, add two zucchinis, chopped and cook covered

  • When the zucchinis are starting to cook, add 4 portabella mushroom caps, chopped and cook covered, stirring occasionally

  • PESTO BREAK! Now you have time to make the pesto! Take a big bunch of basil, take out any bad leaves, and rinse thoroughly. In a food processor, layer in the basil first, then add some walnuts, then parmesan cheese and 2 cloves of garlic with a generous amount of olive oil. You may have to do in batches as things get copped up and move down. Adjust flavoring to your taste (I love garlic) and put in the fridge for later.

  • By now your veggies should be cooked through, so add your potatoes (drained) and your porcini juice (with the mushrooms strained out and squeezed for juicy flavor)

  • Blend (taking out your rosemary and thyme stems) and serve with a dollop of pesto in the middle.

  • YUM!

1 comment:

  1. i just realized how many ingredients in common my past two soups have had, so i just want to assure everyone that they taste REALLY different. i promise. this one is the best.