Summer or Winter Squash
Vegetarian Soup Version with Summer Squash
Chop delicious organic local sweet onions in large pieces. Sauté in soup pot in olive oil or butter ‘til soft and not browned. Add a small handful of fennel seeds and warm in the oil. Add zucchini, chopped the same as onions, stir to mix well. Once they start to warm up, add stock to the pot to just barely cover (I use my homemade vegetable stock, but any full flavored vegetable stock will do).
Add salt + pepper to taste + 1 – 2 bay leaf. Simmer covered until just tender. Then use a blending stick, masher or blender to blend ingredients. Add some wonderful Roxbury basil the pot when you’re blending it all together. Serve warm or cool with fresh herbs snipped over each serving.
Total time to prep cook: about 20 minutes.
Winter Squash Variation: Cook any variety of winter squash ahead of time by either skinning, chopping and boiling in stock first until tender, then proceed as above. Or prepare winter squash ahead of time by roasting in a hot (400 F) oven until tender, then split & remove seeds and take out pulp for soup. Or split squash first, remove seeds, then lightly oil cut side surfaces and place cut side down on oven pan and roast until tender at 400 F, anywhere from 30-60 minutes.
Omit butter and use olive oil to sauté. If you want it ‘creamstyle’ add a splash of organic non GMO soy milk or oat milk at the end.
Omit onions and sauté in ghee or olive oil instead of butter. Make sure your vegetable stock doesn’t contain onions or garlic. For a real treat, grow some ‘holy basil’ as your basil variety this year, and use that at the end, blending in to taste.
I found Holy Basil, an herb sacred to Hindus, (which I grew for the first time this year), to be wonderfully aromatic, and pungent, entirely different than the Italian varieties made famous by pesto. You can order Holy Basil from Richter's Nurseries in Canada. Here is what they say about it: "(Tulsi; holy basil) The true sacred basil grown in houses, gardens and near temples all over India. Mildly intoxicating clove-scented leaves are used in salads and other cold dishes. Note that much of what is sold as 'sacred'or 'holy' basil is actually spice basil, listed separately."