Thursday, August 29, 2013

Easing back into blogging... With a brand new recipe!

I have had such a great summer. It has had some major lows and some major highs- and some of them will be shared as we go into Fall. 

Here's a high!

I just spent the loveliest weekend in the breathtaking Rocky Mountains - in Canmore, more specifically - to take in a watercolour landscape painting course by Donna Jo Massie. Better still, I got to spend it with one of my best friends. 


It was so wonderful. We painted mountains, we breathed mountain air, we hunkered down in a quaint B&B and got to know some fellow travellers, we ate great food...


We really loved every minute, and I can't wait to go back and do it again. 

I might not be able to take you off to the Rockies, but I can send a little bit of the love home to your kitchen. 

On Sunday, we ate lunch at a place called Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company. I highly recommend it: the ingredients are fresh and organic, they custom make your food to order, they have crazyamazing flatbread options, the gluten free crust (brown rice and quinoa) is fantastic, they have amazing fresh lemonade sweetened with maple syrup, and the view is spectacular...


...anyway! The soup of the day was a zucchini-fennel puréed concoction, and it was delicious!

Tonight I created my own take on it, and my husband agreed it would be a great Fall staple. It's fast, tasty, filling and healthy. And who doesn't have access to zucchini this time of year?

Enjoy! (Tell me how you like it!)

Fall Zucchini & Fennel Soup

1 bulb fennel, cored and sliced (reserve the fronds for garnish, if desired)
4 T lemon juice
2 T olive oil
1-2 medium zucchini, sliced
1 onion, sliced 
4 cloves garlic, sliced
4 c chicken or vegetable stock 
2 T (or a good glug) white wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place the fennel and lemon juice in a pot and just cover with salted water. Simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. 

In another pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the zucchini, onion and garlic until soft (10 mins or so). Stir in the broth and the vinegar, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and use a slotted spoon to scoop the fennel from its pot to the soup pot. 

Now, you can transfer this to a blender in batches to purée, or you can use an immersion blender like I did. 

Once puréed, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately or chill and let the flavours mingle. It would be good served cold, as well. 

Optional garnishes to fancy it up:
fennel fronds (lent a hint of liquorice and nice texture to my supper!), or roasted red pepper purée for some bright colour and flavour, or maybe some creme fraiche, or sour cream, or even plain yogurt swirled into the top. Half the fun with soup is presentation. ;)