Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cleaning out the Fridge for Turkey Day

I took ill last weekend and didn't do much cooking for a few days.  So, when I noticed that some zucchini and an onion in the fridge were both looking like they'd seen better days, I decided to make a batch of soup to aid my recovery.

The bowl pictured here is reheated leftovers that I photographed after I started to dig in.  Soups are so often better the next day!

2 tbsp olive oil
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cans (14.5 oz each) chicken broth
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can chick peas, drained
1 can navy beans, drained
2 tsp dried Italian herbs
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a 2- or 4-quart saucepan.  Add zucchini and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add onion and cook until all vegetables are translucent, another 3 to 5 minutes.  Add chicken broth, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer.  Add chick peas, navy beans and herbs, stir well and cover.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until soup is bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.  Add salt and pepper before serving.

Several days last week I went through some fresh spinach and pita bread by making spinach and feta pitas for lunch.  Just when I thought I'd saved the spinach on hand from spoiling, Steve surprised me with another bag of spinach.  As it turned out, a container of ricotta cheese that Steve had picked up in case we needed to make an emergency lasagna was also nearing its expiration date.  So guess what I did with my Friday afternoon off from work?

Pretty much the same thing as the zucchini lasagna I last made over the summer, substituting about 8 cups of chopped fresh spinach for the zucchini and yellow squash.  I discovered that it's not a bad idea to nuke the spinach for a minute or two and then drain off the liquid so that it doesn't cook out while the whole thing's in the oven.  Luckily, or because I made it a couple of hours ahead of time, it held together just fine when I cut into it for dinner.  Steve had some for lunch yesterday and enjoyed it too.

It's the home stretch before our 4th annual Thanksgiving at home.  The turkey's thawing in the fridge, and I can't wait to pull it off again!

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