Category Archives: Vegetables

Roasted Sweet Potato, Parsley and Gorgonzola Salad

Anyone down here in south Florida will agree, we have morphed from the cool sweetness of spring to the sweltering heat of summer.  Now is the time I send my husband out to the grill with a tray heaped on one side with marinated flank steak, boneless chicken breasts or thick tuna steaks.  The other half of the tray is covered with skewered grape tomatoes, corn rubbed with olive oil, salt and cayenne pepper and red pepper wedges also drizzled with olive oil.  My contribution to this meal is prepared in the conditioned air comfort of my kitchen.  Roasted sweet potato, parsley and gorgonzola salad is ideal for summer dinners as it can be prepared the night before serving or in the morning when the temperature has not begun its intolerable climb.  This salad is cool and light yet has heft.  You will not feel hunger pangs an hour or two after eating it.  Oh, no.  Not with this salad.

It marries well with grilled and/or spicy flavors…especially spicy heat.  The sweet potatoes tame the flames of cayenne, harissa, serrano and scotch bonnet.  I’m crazy about the clean, lemony flavor the parsley leaves impart.  Aside from being good-looking, the green leaves cut through the richness of the sweet potatoes and gorgonzola with a cleansing, citrusy flavor.  It also travels well making it a favorite for picnics at the beach, concerts in the park or poolside dinners while we’re wrapped in cotton towels heavy with dampness and enjoy those last rays of sunlight at 8:00 at night.  Take it outside and enjoy the beginning of summer!

Roasted Sweet Potato, Parsley and Gorgonzola Salad

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 small garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to your liking
  1. Place olive oil, vinegar and garlic into a bender, magic bullet or mini food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Taste for salt and pepper and add to your liking.
  3. Chill until serving.

Salad:

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, that’s about 5 large potatoes
  • 2 small sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 ounces Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves only
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch pieces and place in a large bowl.
  3. Add the onions, salt and pepper and olive oil to bowl and toss well with your hands until the potatoes and onions are completely covered with the oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer the potato mixture to the baking sheet, spreading to make an even layer.
  5. Roast for 45 minutes or until fork tender.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  7. Chill until ready to serve.
  8. To serve add the gorgonzola cheese and parsley leaves to the salad.
  9. Drizzle 1/2 cup dressing over the salad and, very gently, toss to combine being careful not to smash the potatoes.
  10. If the salad needs more dressing, add one tablespoon at a time, gently tossing until thoroughly mixed.
  11. Taste for salt and pepper.

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Sausage, Tomato and Basil Spaghetti Squash Bake

Did you indulge or party just a tee-tiny bit too much this past weekend?  Or maybe you fell for that lie we all tell ourselves when we’ve eaten half the brownies and, thoroughly disgusted with ourselves, take action to rid the temptation by saying, “I want this out of the house.  I’ll finish it and then it won’t be around anymore to tease me.”  It’s so awful.  And hard, too.  But I’ve found if I can stick to a healthful meal plan for two or three days eating well almost becomes a habit.  All of us have struggled with our weight at one time or another.  College weight, baby weight and old lady weight have all been my personal nightmares.  Here’s a special memory that ought to make you feel better.  When I was pregnant with our son, James, I gained 52 (yes, 52) pounds.  I was enormous; I looked like a walrus…except I had braces and a real tragedy of a haircut.  After I gave birth I was still fat but I had the greatest treasure in the world.  Anyway, one afternoon my father came over…alone.  Normally he and Mom came over together or Mom came alone.  We didn’t really have what one would call a “visit”, as he strode with his long legs into our house and made the following announcement.  “Your mother and I are terribly worried.  So I’m only going to say this once.  Lose the weight.”  With that, he turned around and walked out.  Nice, huh?  Thanks, Daddy.  I can’t say his little pep talk worked, what with a new baby and nursing and all; it took a while after that to “lose the weight”.  But these are the types of meals that make dropping a few pounds somewhat easier.  We can do this.  We’ve all lost weight before and we’ll do it again.  With a little planning we can be healthy about it and keep the weight off.  Fingers crossed.

I love this dish!  It is incredibly satisfying and as filling as a pasta dish but without the sluggish, weighted down feeling one is left with after sitting down to a huge bowl of penne, fettucine or farfalle…not to mention the guilt, smothering like the black cloud we all know it to be.  This casserole doubles extremely well, baked in a 9″ x 13″ dish.  I typically double the recipe as my entire household enjoys it for lunch the following day, along with a good bit set aside for my brother and father.  More fresh basil may be added if you like, as well as more grape tomatoes.  The tomatoes bake-off beautifully, warm and savory, they almost melt in your mouth.  The recipe doesn’t call for much parmesan cheese but if you want to stay Paleo or keep the calories out just leave it off.  Truly, with all the different flavors, this dish doesn’t need it.  Enjoy!

Sausage, Tomato and Basil Spaghetti Squash Bake

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 4 cups roasted spaghetti squash, that’s about one large squash
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/4 pounds Italian style turkey sausage
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated using the large holes of a box grater
  •  1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn by hand
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°.  Cover an 8″ x 11″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. With a large spoon scoop the spaghetti squash flesh out of the shell and into a large bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Pour half of the olive oil into a large skillet, heat to medium and swirl the olive oil fully covering the bottom and sides of the pan.
  4. Add the whole sausage links to the pan and cook over medium until browned all over.
  5. Leaving the juices in the pan, transfer the sausage to a bowl and let cool.
  6. Add the remaining olive oil, onion and garlic to the pan, stirring well to get up all the bits of sausage.
  7. When the onion begins to turn clear, add the zucchini and oregano and stir well.
  8. Add the crushed tomatoes, stir well and remove from heat.
  9. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the bowl of spaghetti squash.
  10. To the bowl add the grape tomatoes, basil and parsley and toss well to thoroughly combine.
  11. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasonings if needed.
  12. Transfer mixture to baking dish and, if using parmesan, scatter the cheese evenly over the top of the casserole.
  13. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the grape tomatoes become soft to the touch.

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Fried Green Plantain Chips

One of the highlights of our summers in Puerto Rico was our trips into Viejo San Juan, Old San Juan.  Cynthia and I would be taken by our aunt, Madrinita, and, of course, Mama would accompany us.  It was an all-day affair of shopping at my aunt’s favorite jewelry store, always lunch at La Mallorquina, the oldest operating restaurant in the Western Hemisphere and culminating perhaps with a tour of cellist Pedro Casals’ house.  What wonderful times we had!  In and out of shops we went, Mama buying gorgeous French and Belgian sets of tablecloths and napkins, Madrinita giving in to the siren call of a particularly lovely gold bracelet as Cynthia and I stood by watching wide-eyed and highly impressed.  My mother and aunt adored each other and this outing gave them the opportunity to spend uninterrupted hours catching up on family news and their own sister secrets.  Cynthia and I were already BFF’s so we, too, shared our own 8-year-old/six-year-old secrets, whispering that maybe, just maybe, this was the trip Madrinita would buy us some pretty little earrings, a delicate ring or exquisite charm for our bracelets.  As we grew older, Madrinita and Mama strolled ahead of us, arm in arm, chattering away.  Cynthia and I lagged behind enjoying the lazy afternoon, soaking in the beauty of cascading bougainvilla spilling off the balconies above us and the magnificence of the smooth blue cobblestones below our feet dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries.  One of our favorite games was to hunt for ruts and grooves cut into the cobblestones by horses dragging canons up to the fort and back.  Puerto Rico was a Spanish territory, a jewel in their crown, and the Spaniards were quick to defend it against land attacks.  We were content with the pleasures of the sun on our skinny, little arms, the soft padding sound of our shoe leather against the rounded cobblestones and the dichotomy between the loud, riot of colors and the quiet, graciousness of the residents.  Toward the end of the day Cynthia and I tended to unravel.  After a day  of walking and getting too much sun we both needed energy, a small pick-me-up to tide us over until we got back to home base: our grandparent’s house.  On every corner it seems there was a minute wooden cart, always gaily painted a bright red, shielded from the searing afternoon rays of the sun by a striped awning or umbrella.  Alongside the cart and in the shade sat the vendor usually on a folded, wooden chair, wearing a straw hat and welcoming us with a brilliantly white and friendly smile.  All the vendors were kind and patient with us, treating us as the adults we had yet to be.  Some sold ice cream, some snow cones shaved from huge blocks of ice and others offered little bags of plantain chips gathered in small, wax paper bags, folded at the top and fastened with one staple in the center of the parcel.  We were, and still are, crazy about them.  Each bag was 10¢.  When enjoying these plantain chips with my husband, Jimmy, he pointed out it gives new meaning to “dime bag”.  But they were a fabulous treat for us and gave us the stamina needed until we reached home.  We loved everything about them, from the “snap” of the first chip down to the bits of salt at the bottom of every bag.  Another perfect ending to a perfect day.

This is one hors d’oeuvre you won’t often see here in the states unless you are at a gathering with Latinos.  Plantain chips are easy and quick to prepare.  And although they are fried, you will find that properly stored, the chips stay fresh and crisp for two or three days after preparing…if they last that long.  In fact, I find their flavor almost deeper the following day.  Plantain chips are typically served as an appetizer or snack but my family and I love them crumbled over shrimp, fish or mixed green salad.  We like them sprinkled with sea salt or drizzled with a little chimichurri sauce. They marry exceptionally well with all manner of sea food.  This recipe may be doubled or tripled and if not serving immediately, do not need to be reheated. Just serve them at room temperature.  The thick, hard peel of the green plantain has to come off, easily done but not as easy as peeling a yellow banana.  Plantains stain your fingers so I always wear disposable gloves.  The following is how I peel them.  You will find 3-4 ridges running lengthwise on each plantain.  Using a paring knife cut through the peel down the length of the plantain taking care not to cut into the flesh.  Starting at the top, slide your finger under the skin and pry each section away.  I run the paring knife lightly over the surface of each plantain to scrape off any bits of peel left behind.  You’ll see the flecks of peels as they will turn gray in color making it easy to scrape off any missed.  The chips are thinly sliced into a 1/16″ thickness.  I use a lightweight mandoline that makes slicing the plantains a snap but obviously a sharp kitchen knife will work just fine.  Some people then give the sliced plantains a quick rinse of salted water, drain them well, then fry them.  The rinsing keeps the starchy slices from sticking together.  However, I find no matter how well I drain them there is always a certain amount of moisture causing the hot oil to pop so I don’t rinse.  It’s up to you.  I keep my gloves on while frying, also, to avoid any stains as my fingers touch the slices while dropping them into the hot oil.  Last of all, and this is important, the very second you take the chips out of the hot oil and drain on paper towels sprinkle them with sea salt.  The tiny bit of oil on them will help the salt to stick whilst the oil drains off.

Fried Green Plantain Chips

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 green plantains
  • vegetable or canola oil
  • sea salt
  1. Peel the plantains and cut into round slices 1/16″ thick, about the thickness of a quarter.
  2. In a frying pan heat about 2-3 inches vegetable or canola oil to a little lower than high, about 375°.
  3. If rinsing the slices do so now.  Fill a large bowl with salted water, put the sliced plantains in the water, swirl with your hand and drain in a colander.   Pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Carefully drop the chips into the hot oil in batches.  I typically fry one sliced plantain at a time.
  5. As the slices hit the hot oil, stir with a spider or slotted spoon to keep the chips from sticking together.
  6. Fry until golden, about 3-4 minutes, gently stirring all the while to ensure even cooking.
  7. With the spider or slotted spoon, remove the chips and transfer to paper towels to drain.
  8. Immediately sprinkle with sea salt and serve.
  9. If serving another time, store the cooled plantain chips in an airtight gallon freezer bag or plastic container.

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Asian Brussel Sprouts

Tomorrow is my favorite and only brother’s birthday.  I tease him because we are so different yet our lives seem to run along the same parallels.  Tommy is wonderful.  He rescues me when my dishwasher is falling out of the wall and when my life is falling apart.  He often walks the dog and constantly walks with me through Scripture.  He gives me strength to get up…the kind of strength needed when life knocks you down so hard you can’t breathe.  He doesn’t simply say  “C’mon.  Get over it.”   No.  And he doesn’t judge.  He gently offers two hands to lift me up out of the secluded corners of pain; he softly brushes off the mud of hard knocks and always has soothing words and hope when my soul has been hurt and buffeted.  I lean on him as frequently as he leans on the kitchen bookcase, long and graceful legs crossed, drink in hand, patiently waiting for a taste of whatever I’m cooking.  He is my treasure.  It hasn’t always been this way.  Tommy was separated from our family when he was married.  We missed him terribly but he’s back with us now and we’re damn glad.   He’s the family prankster, always leaving a couple of sweet potatoes and the odd grapefruit on James’ bed pillows as his calling card.  James always came out of his bedroom jubilantly stating, “Uncle Tommy was here!”  When I lived at my parents’ house before Jimmy and I married, Tommy hung a few brightly colored bras of mine and a few pairs of bikini panties on the paddles of my bedroom ceiling fan.  Round and round they leisurely rotated for any and all to see.  He was just pleased as punch at my outrage.  As goofy as he sometimes is, he is equally sharp-witted and highbrow in his humor, right up my alley.  But his heart…his huge, sweet, kind and giving heart is something to behold.  As I type this my eyes sting with tears.  My emotions are so close to the surface; I know my 3:00 tequila has nothing to do with it, I love my baby brother so.  To celebrate his birthday he’s coming over for dinner tonight and one of his dishes will be these asian brussel sprouts.  Because he’ll eat anything and everything, he was given the  childhood nickname of “Pigdog” by our little sister and me.  I happen to know for a fact he LOVES these brussel sprouts.  I have 4 pounds for 3 people.  So happy birthday, Pigdog.  I love you!

I’ve been obsessed with these asian brussel sprouts for a couple of weeks now.  I eat them as a snack they’re so doggone good.  Hot, warm or cold, I think they’re fabulous.  I find most of the ingredients at my grocery store, Publix, but the bonito flakes I picked up at Whole Foods.  Fresh Market probably carries them as well.  The sriracha chili sauce adds a tiny bit of heat so if heat ain’t your thing leave it out.  The honey gives the sprouts a smooth sweetness while the lemon grass, ginger and fish sauce round out this deep flavor blast.  I include any random sprout leaves to the roasting pan as they become crisp and savory during the roasting process much like potato chips.  In retrospect maybe they are best straight out the oven but they’re mighty fine the following day, too.  Hope you like ’em!

Asian Brussel Sprouts

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 pounds brussel sprouts, root end trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 6″ piece lemon grass, cut into thirds and bruised to release flavor
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2-3 generous tablespoons bonito flakes
  • 1 rounded tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°.  Line a large baking sheet with tin foil and lightly cover with non-stick baking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine trimmed brussel sprouts,  olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss well with your hands until all the sprouts are coated with the olive oil.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes or until the outside of the sprouts are dark and any leaves are crispy.
  4. While the sprouts are baking, combine all the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat.
  5. Cook the sauce for 4-5 minutes until the garlic and ginger are soft.  Set aside until the brussel sprouts have finished roasting.
  6. Remove sprouts from the oven and transfer to a large, shallow bowl.
  7. Discard lemon grass pieces from sauce, drizzle the sauce over the sprouts and toss well with two large spoons.
  8. Serve immediately.

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Fresh Tomato and Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Here we are in March…in like a lion, out like a lamb.  In south Florida we are most definitely enjoying lamb-like weather.  Jimmy and I are found in the courtyard often, reading and writing, the dog typically sprawled at our feet.  Jimmy will spend his mornings outside working on his laptop, leisurely smoking his pipe which, by the way, smells positively heavenly.  We read the New York Times in the morning and take pleasure in a simple happy hour or dinner in the evening.  Clearly the mosquitos haven’t found our house yet…but they will.  In the meantime, if it’s morning or evening, assume we’re puttering outside.  This dish is a spring and summer joy.  Simple and healthful, it may be served as a vegetable side dish or as an entree with a piece of grilled tuna or chicken atop.  It’s lovely at a picnic or poolside as it travels extremely well.  Spaghetti squash is much lighter than pasta and undeniably lower in calories.  Those who are allergic to wheat will love this alternative.  No more sneezing and itchy eye!  Regardless of your reason to try this dish, I think you’ll truly enjoy it and so will your family.

Fresh Tomato and Pesto Spaghetti Squash

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 spaghetti squash, medium size
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • 1 1/2-2 cups fresh basil leaves plus a few sprigs for garnish
  • 1 7-ounce container of store-bought pesto or approximately 1 cup of homemade, I use store-bought, reduced fat
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese. This is completely optional and may be left out for a dairy-free, vegan or paleo dish.  It’s still absolutely delicious.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°.  Line a large baking sheet with tin foil and cover foil lightly with non-stick baking spray.  Set aside.
  2. Cut both squashes in half lengthwise.
  3. Using a large, metal spoon, scoop out all the seeds from the squashes.  Discard the seeds.
  4. Place the squashes cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the flesh is fork tender.  I check them at 45 minutes and return to the oven checking for doneness every 5 minutes or so.
  5. While the squashes are baking finely mince the garlic and place in a medium size, non-reactive bowl.  I use glass.
  6. Cut the tomatoes in half and add them to the garlic.
  7. Using your hands, rip the fresh basil into small, bite size pieces and add them to the garlic-tomato mixture.
  8. Add the pesto and olive oil to the tomato mixture.  If using parmesan cheese, add it as well.  Mix thoroughly so all ingredients are well combined.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until the squashes have baked.
  10. Remove the squashes from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes or until they’re easy to handle.
  11. With a small paring knife cut the flesh of the squashes lengthwise down to the shell being careful not to cut through to your hand, making 3 or 4 parallel cuts, each cut about 3/4″-1″ apart.  This allows bite size pieces and makes it easier to assemble the dish.
  12. With a large, metal spoon scoop the flesh out of the squashes and place into a large bowl.
  13. Pour the tomato-pesto mixture over the squash and gently toss until all the squash is well coated.
  14. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with any fresh basil leaves and serve.
  15. If serving within a few hours the bowl may be covered with plastic wrap and then transferred to the serving platter right before serving.

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Meyer Lemon, White Bean and Mint Salad

It’s the season of Lent and, for those of you who don’t know, that means no meat in our house.  For a total of 40 days and 40 nights.  It wasn’t easy when my husband and son decided to abstain but over the years we’ve kind of gotten into the rhythm of it to the point we now feel perfectly comfortable kidding around about the dish we truly miss.  It goes something like, “Oh, my gosh.  You know what I really craved today? A burger.  A great big, juicy burger with lettuce and tomato and pickles and mustard, ketchup and mayo.  With a big pile of crispy fries.”  Then the other person replies, “I know.  I’d totally kill for a chicken wing.  Super hot and covered with sauce.  I couldn’t stop thinking about them.”  Every year it’s the same song and dance.  This salad, however, alleviates some of the pain.  I won’t lie and say it’ll take the place of meat but it does fill the hole.  It’s wonderful topped with a warm fillet of fish just off the grill.  I scoop it onto bruschetta followed by a slow drizzle of olive oil for a tempting and pretty hors d’oeuvre.   White beans will never take the place of crispy, spicy sopressata on a pizza, comforting spaghetti and meat balls or a savory, homemade chicken salad sandwich but for right now, they’ll do.  They’ll do just fine.

One of the finer points of this salad is that it requires no marination time.  Once it’s prepared it can be served.  That said, it can also be put together a few hours prior to serving and it’s still fantastic.  The recipe is easily halved or doubled with perfect results.  The salad travels well to parties and picnics, feeds a crowd and is pretty inexpensive to make.  Meyer lemons are much sweeter and not as sour as regular lemons but if Meyers are not available in your area, no worries.  Regular lemons are just fine and no one will know the difference.  This bean salad can be served as a main dish or as a side.

Meyer Lemon, White Bean and Mint Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 4 15-ounce cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 bunches of flat leaf parsley, rinsed and dried
  • 2 bunches fresh mint leaves, rinsed and dried
  • 1 small red onion, chopped and all tough skins discarded
  • 1 large Meyer lemon or 2 regular lemons
  • 3/4 cup good olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Chop the parsley and mint leaves and place in a large bowl.
  2. Zest the lemon then juice it, adding both to the bowl with the parsley.
  3. Add the olive oil to the parsley mixture and stir well until all the ingredients are completely combined.
  4. Add the beans to the parsley mixture and gently toss so as not to break up the beans but to completely coat the beans with the parsley mint mixture.
  5. Taste for salt and pepper.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until serving.

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Creamed Vegetable Soup

 

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This vegetable soup is perfect for those nights when you crave warm, comforting soup but have little energy, never mind time.  The vegetables are cut into good-sized chunks, cook until tender then are blitzed with an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender.  The recipe makes quite a bit but the soup is even more flavorful the following day and packs well for lunch at one’s desk.  It’s incredibly thick and hearty so often I serve it alone.  Paired with a grilled cheese sandwich of some sort, the soup with half a sandwich will leave you stuffed and satisfied.  If you prefer your soup thinner, by all means, add a bit more water or broth.  Make certain to blend until smooth and the end result will be a creamy, velvety meal.  Enjoy!

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Creamed Vegetable Soup

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, cut into eighths
  • 7-9 cloves of peeled garlic
  • 5 medium zucchini, cut into 1″ rounds
  • 5 medium organic carrots, cut into 1/2″ rounds
  • 5 stalks of celery, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 7 large tomatoes, cut into eighths and core end trimmed off
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, stalk end snapped off
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • water
  • 1 large handful fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large dutch oven or soup pot heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions.  Stir occasionally, and cook until they begin to turn translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, zucchini, carrots and celery and continue stirring.  Cook until the vegetables begin to soften.
  3. Add the tomatoes, green beans and oregano. Stir until all the vegetables are well combined and the oregano is evenly distributed.
  4. Add water to the pot just up to the vegetables but not covering them.  You can always add more water if needed.
  5. Bring to a boil then drop the heat down to a medium simmer, cover and cook for 45-60 minutes or until the carrots and green beans are tender and completely cooked through.
  6. Add the basil, stir, then process until smooth with an immersion blender or transfer to food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  7. Add salt to taste
  8. Add freshly cracked black pepper over individual servings.
  9. May be served hot, warm or cold.

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