Friday, September 2, 2011

ever wonder what to do with...

...all that zucchini and summer squash that everyone is always and forever planting way too much of and then blessing or curing you with it or for it?? I mean there is only so much of that stuff we can eat in a summer. I love both of them. I grill it, saute it with garlic, throw it in a green salad, throw some in a stir fry. But there still seems to be a never ending supply. I creep out to my garden and look at everything but the summer squash and zucchini plants. I cringe slightly when I happen across them and sigh and pick a handful or two gallons of the stuff. I wonder who I can bless it with of my friends. Seems like people lock their cars and doors more this time of year. Maybe I could drop it off on their door step when they are not home, I've been the recipient of extra produce that way. I really don't mind either.  I've been given more extra produce this year due to the fact that we have pigs and chickens and the sheep like some of that stuff too. That's great they all love it. But I also wanted to figure out how to save some of it. Didn't really want to freeze it. Then I was reminded of  a soup started that my MIL had. I haven't thought of it for years, and didn't even remember what it tasted like. So I asked if I could have a quart to try. Well I got it home and everyone saw it and said with great disgust "what is that?" I said soup starter. Well it sat in the cupboard for a few days or maybe a week, life got real busy with everything going on the tropical storm and guests and everything. Well the other day while I was in the midst of canning peaches and it looked like a bomb went off in my kitchen I realized it was after 5. Oh great, everyone was coming in and telling me they were hungry. I had my stove and table full of canning jars, boxes, peaches, and all that stuff. I cleaned off a burner and cooked some hamburg that I had in the fridge from loosing power, no it hadn't gone bad. I popped open the soup starter and dumped it in the hamburg when it was cooked and served it up to my starving vultures, I mean family. Well it was gone in about 5 minutes and everyone was asking for more. I didn't get but a bite of it and the flavor was wonderful and very satisfying. Well there, I thought. I guess I need this recipe, and a quart and one pound of hamburg was not enough. I think maybe if I had some bread or something else with it it might have been, but everyone was looking in my still empty fridge for more food. I don't have any left overs and haven't done much cooking since getting power back on, because I've been up to my elbows in peaches and various other canned goods, and then soup starter!! AAAHHHH! There I feel better. Naw it's not too bad, just hungry kiddos and a husband that are eating every last scrap of food that I've been cooking lately. Maybe everyone is growing, again!!
So yes I recommend this soup starter. It uses 6 cups of zucchini. Well this time I just used the summer squash, but would throw in some zucchini with the next load, maybe 2 cups and 4 cups. Summer squash is better liked in my house. It's got carrots, well I'll share the recipe, but it's really good. Just doesn't look really pretty! Not too bad though.

looks good
not that pretty, kinda dark
final product in jars
So that is what it looks like. Let me tell you when it's simmering on the stove it smells wonderful! Everyone was lingering around the kitchen last night while it was cooking. Wondering what I was making that smelled so good. They all wanted to eat it. I made 6 batches of it and got 7 quarts. And now I'll tell you the recipe. I have no idea where this came from or who invented it. I guess someone desperate to get rid of lots of summer squash and zucchini!

Soup Starter (one batch)
1 onion
1 carrot
6 C zucchini and or summer squash
1/4 C oil
3 C tomato (peelings taken off)
1/2 tes salt        1/4 tes pepper    1 bay leaf (take out before canning)      1/4 tes basil       1/4 tes oregano
Finely chop everything. Saute onion in the oil, add spices, throw in carrots, and squash, then tomato. Simmer on low heat 15 min covered, then 15 min uncovered. Put in jars and can. I canned them at 11 pounds pressure for 30 min.
So simple and so wonderful.
If you have a question feel free to ask, send me an email or a comment!!

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