Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Tale of Two Soups

We had a busy weekend with lots of mud, muddy clothing to be washed and wet, cold kids and daddies to get warmed up. Lunch on Sunday was a choice of soups. Why did I make two? Easy! They were both recipes I'd been wanting to make. But really, it's because I found I had a motherlode of chicken broth in my freezer during my latest freezer inventory. I seem to be channeling my thrifty grandmothers, mother and mother-in-law when it comes to chicken. The Daddy doesn't enjoy chicken with bones, but he loves most anything made with cooked, cubed or shredded chicken. To obtain said chicken, I usually boil a whole chicken. If I don't need the broth for that meal, I cook it down and freeze it. When I last inventoried the big freezer, there were 12 quarts of chicken broth. It's an illness, I'm certain. Oh yeah, and yellow squash was on sale! So, a tale of two soups was born. Two soups, one smooth, creamy and sublime, the other spicy, hearty and fun! Pick one...or both!

First up was Creamy Summer Squash Soup. This is an old recipe of mine that I made often when I catered ladies lunches. As you can imagine, it is creamy and sublime. It is a cinch to make and reheats well, but it separates when frozen, so make a half batch if you aren't feeding a small army....or five kids and a daddy.

Now a new one to us, Buffalo Chicken Soup. My friend, Jenny, tried this recipe and I knew it had to have been a hit when her husband raved about it even when she wasn't around! It was incredibly simple and one of the girls asked me to put some away for her lunchbox this week. It must be good!

Creamy Summer Squash Soup

makes 2 quarts

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 lb. yellow squash, thinly sliced (don't kill yourself, it will be pureed)

4 cups good chicken broth

1 cup half and half

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan

Croutons for garnish

Combine butter and oil in a large pot. Add onions and cook, stirring often, over medium heat until onions are soft. Add garlic and cook another minute or two. Add squash and chicken broth. Stir, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes, until squash is very tender. Blend until smooth with a stick blender or in batches in a regular blender (be careful not to burn yourself!). Add half and half and reheat over low heat. Season with salt and pepper; stir in parmesan and stir to melt. Serve hot or cold with croutons to garnish.