Diane Prather's columns appear in the Craig Daily Press and Saturday Morning Press. You can call her at 824-8809.
I've been trying to use up some zucchini that has built up in the refrigerator, so last week I tried "Zucchini Soup." The recipe appeared in the July 25, 1994, edition of "The Fence Post." It came from the kitchen of Barbara Fleming of Sedalia.
First, the recipe, then some remarks about it.
To make the soup, you'll need: 1 pound Italian sweet sausage (you can use hot) with the casings removed or 1 pound ground Italian sausage; 2 cups celery, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices; 1 cup chopped onion; 2 pounds zucchini, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices; 2 green peppers, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices; 2 cans (28-ounces each) tomatoes; 2 teaspoons salt; 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning; 1 teaspoon oregano; 1/2 teaspoon basil; 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon sugar.
The recipe makes 3 1/2 quarts.
Brown the sausage in a large Dutch oven, drain off excess fat and add celery. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with Parmesan cheese and garlic bread.
This recipe makes a lot of soup, so I decided to cut it in half the first time. I had a pound of mild, ground Italian sausage, so I browned 1/2 pound and froze the rest. I used regular diced tomatoes and the other ingredients as given in the recipe.
I was a little confused by the "1/2-inch diagonal slices," but decided it referred to the thickness of the vegetables.
It may be that the cut-up vegetables weren't the right size. Anyway, my husband Lyle and I thought the soup juice had a good flavor, but the soup as a whole seemed a little bland- perhaps too much zucchini for our tastes.
So, the next day I thawed and browned the remaining Italian sausage and added it to the soup, along with a 14 1/2-ounce can of Italian tomatoes. We liked the soup much better.
We all have our recipe likes and dislikes, so you may like the soup with its given ingredients, but the next time I make it, I'm going to use half as much zucchini, Italian tomatoes (instead of regular) and more sausage.
If you make "Zucchini Soup," please let me know what you think.
Finally, thanks once again to everyone who sent in recipes and tips for making jelly. It's interesting how the ingredients for chokecherry jelly varied - from powdered pectin to liquid, lemon juice, no lemon juice, or tart apple juice and cooking time from 1/2 minute to much longer.
Most of the recipes mentioned testing the jelly to see if it had cooked enough.
Last week, I ran out of room in the column so couldn't add an interesting suggestion included in one of the chokecherry jelly recipes from Rozella Bobson (she found the recipes in a 1950s article from The Glenwood Post).
An addition to directions for preparing the juice suggests, "for a strong cherry pit flavor, add 4 tablespoons of crushed pits during the simmering or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract before pouring." I haven't found this suggestion with any other chokecherry jelly recipe.
Send your recipes to me at Box 415, Craig, 81626, or call me at 824-8809.
Copyright Diane Prather, 2007. All rights reserved.