Soup Night (Storey Publishing, 2013) by Maggie Stuckey provides the perfect soup recipes for building community. Gather friends and neighbors on a regular basis for a casual night of soup and sides—this self-made soup party will have a positive ripple effect. The following Zucchini-Tortellini Soup recipe, which uses ingredients that can be harvested fresh from your garden, is excerpted from chapter 5, “Summer.”
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If you’ve ever grown zucchini, you know the danger—in the dead of summer, this incredibly prolific plant seems to go from blossom to squash overnight, and then to HUGE in another day. People have been known to sneak onto neighbors’ porches in the middle of the night, leaving a pile of squashes anonymously. For all I know, there are 12-step programs to help gardeners and their friends cope with the overflow. Here’s one solution: a delicious vegetable soup that also features some of your late-season vegetables (fresh tomatoes and basil), made hearty with the addition of cheese tortellini pasta bundles. Cooking zucchini has never been more fun.
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 carrots, diced
• 1 celery stalk, diced
• 1 leek, white part plus a little of the green, trimmed and diced
• 2 thin-skinned potatoes, diced
• 2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
• 8 cups vegetable broth
• 12 ounces fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
• 2 to 3 small zucchini squash, sliced into half-rounds
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil, or basil pesto
1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, leek, and potatoes, and sauté just until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes and the broth, and simmer until the potatoes and carrots are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the tortellini for about 5 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Remove when still al dente; don’t overcook. Drain and set aside.
4. Add the zucchini to the soup and simmer just until crisp-tender. Stir in the reserved tortellini.
5. Stir in the basil (or pesto) and serve each bowl sprinkled with grated Parmesan. SERVES 6.
Make ahead: Through step 3 if you have to, but remove the soup from the heat before the vegetables are fully done, so that they don’t become mushy during reheating.
For large crowds: How else are you going to get rid of all that zucchini?
More Soup Recipes from Soup Night
Excerpted from Soup Night (c) Maggie Stuckey, photography (c) Lara Ferroni, used with permission from Storey Publishing. Buy this book from our store: Soup Night.