Saturday, July 30, 2011

Raw Zuchini Lemon Soup

This is a great recipe to share in the throes of summer zucchini season. I think most of you can understand what that means if you've ever had a garden or you have a close friend with one. Actually I can't help but pick up more zucchini every time I go to the farmer's market in town. Using real, local, fresh produce will yield wonderful results whenever you want great tasting food.

I really love zucchini and there are so many ways to prepare it. Here I present to you a raw recipe that is refreshing and very nice to serve chilled. Easy to whip up, literally, all you do is to puree the raw ingredients together and you are done. If you use chilled water and cold ingredients, you will not need to chill further.

I love using my Vitamix blender for this...it makes easy work of grinding up the spices and chunks of vegetables at the same time. I found this recipe on a "Chef Mary B" DVD that I borrowed from the local library. She calls it Zucchini Lemon Bisque.

Raw Zucchini Lemon Soup

Combine in a blender:

7 cups zucchini, peeled & chopped
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup lemon juice (or 2 lemons, juiced)
1/2 cup olive oil, extra virgin
2-3 cloves garlic (use only 1 for mild)
1 Tablespoon onion, dried, granulated (or 1 small onion)
1 Tablespoon agave nectar (or 1 teaspoon honey)
1 Tablespoon sea salt (or seasoned salt instead)
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder (or whole cumin seeds)
pinch black pepper (6 whole black peppercorns)

Puree all in the blender. Garnish with fresh dill, after serving into bowls.

Makes about 6 cups pureed soup.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Farmer's Markets

I am really loving the farmer's markets this year. Last year we participated in a CSA, but this year we thought we'd try a farmer's market approach. I guess it goes back to how we shopped in Ghana and we enjoyed getting to know the merchants. We thought we'd have a (mini) garden this year, but that proved difficult with our time schedule.

In Ghana, we needed to buy about 98% of our produce at roadside stands. Since buying pre-frozen produce was so expensive, we got used to having to do everything from fresh and raw. Probably a very good thing. Trust me, buying tropical fruit, that was grown locally, was fun! And a lot cheaper too.

This year, I've made fresh raw salsa with farmer's market tomatoes, garlic, hot peppers, and red onions. I've made green smoothies with Swiss chard, kale and leaf lettuces bought at farmer's markets. I even braided some garlic too. Today I bought some basil that will be pesto tomorrow.

It's fun to try new things. I found some 100% beeswax votive candles today that I can't wait to use. They smell so good! We've found maple syrup, bread, potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini (what's a summer without zucchini?), acorn squash, blueberries in addition to the others already mentioned and much more!

If you are not familiar with farmer's markets in your area, I encourage you to ask around. Find out the days and hours they are open and where they set up. You may find more than you think. If you are unfamiliar with something they sell, ask them how to use it and go and try it at home. Hopefully you've checked the recipes I've posted for many ideas on using fresh produce.

If you want to try something and I don't have a recipe for it here, please comment and tell me what you want to see. I can find one that might work for you.