Now that the leaves on the ash trees are just starting to yellow a bit and the salmon are starting to run the tomatoes are finally starting to ripen. I wish I could make this soup earlier, since it is a “summer” soup, but it generally takes so long for the tomatoes to ripen in Western Washington, I just don’t have the ingredients until we are on the cusp of fall. But now that the tomatoes are coming on I can make this soup and as a bonus, make use of some more zucchini.
Summer Minestrone (Minestrone Estivo, or something like that) has a fresh flavor with just a bit of tomato tang, sort of hearty and light all at the same time. It is also quite simple, the way a good “summer” soup should be. Since you don’t want to be in the kitchen too long in the “heat” of “summer”.
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 T tomato paste
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 waxy potatoes, diced
- 8 oz zucchini, coarsely chopped
- 8 oz yellow summer squash, coarsely chopped
- 1 lb tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 5 c. chicken stock
- 1/4 c. fresh basil, shredded
- 1/3 c. grated parmesan, plus another 1/3 c. for garnish
- salt and pepper
- In a large pan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook gently for about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Then add the diced potatoes, chopped zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Pour in the stock. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer half covered for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil and 1/3 c. of parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with a little grated parmesan for garnish and some fresh cracked pepper.