I hope your summer garden is giving you an abundance of basil, because you will definitely want to make this soup! It is easy enough for a fast weeknight supper (we like it along with grilled cheese sandwiches), but delicious enough for a special meal. Don’t try to substitute dried basil, the flavor just won’t be the same. If you are lucky enough to have a surplus of fresh tomatoes you can use those instead of using the canned tomatoes called for in the recipe. Just use about 3 lbs. of fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped; and add about 20 minutes to the cooking time to let them break down well enough before blending.
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Amy and I are visiting mom and dad in east central Alabama; it’s time for our annual Cousins’ Camp. The kids have been looking forward to this for months – and so have the grownups because who doesn’t love to spend a week swimming in the lake, water skiing, hiking in the woods and just relaxing in the hammock?!
This week of Cousins’ Camp always signals the beginning of summer to me and some of the things that make it feel that way aren’t the sunshine or swimming. It’s the scent of the freshly cut gardenia blossoms from the front yard filling mason jar vases around the house. It’s the first peaches and cantaloupe of the season ripe and fragrant gracing bowls and baskets in the kitchen. It’s also the abundance of fresh vegetables from the local farm markets. I especially love the summer squashes mom gets from her CSA.
Sauteed squash and leeks with feta and basil
The CSA is with Randle Farms on the outskirts of Auburn, AL. The 200+ acre family-run farm grows blueberries, blackberries and other fruits; seasonal vegetables; and they raise sheep, cattle, pigs and chickens which are rotated on the green pastures and used to improve soil fertility all over the farm as well as provide meat, eggs and dairy for farm customers.
This week we are feasting on Zephyr Squash, onions and leeks. This morning I’m dicing up some onion and a small squash and sauteeing them in a little bacon grease for about ten minutes, then frying an egg over easy and serving it on top of the sauteed vegetables for an easy Paleo breakfast. Mom likes to halve the squashes lengthwise, steam them and top them with some grassfed butter and sea salt. Here’s another recipe that uses both squash and the leeks from the CSA box together with fresh summer herbs.