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Bouktouf: but it’s not soup night!

February 2, 2010

Yes, I do make soup on non-Wednesdays.  Soup is quick, easy, delicious, and filling.  Yum.  Complete meal in a bowl, or for those dinner parties I’ve never managed to plan, an appetizer or soup course!

the vegetable spread

This recipe is inspired by David Ansel’s bouktouf in The Soup Peddler’s Slow & Difficult Soups.  The book itself is fabulous–amusing to read, funky illustrations, and unbelievable recipe-gathering stories.  The description of his bouktouf recipe is a must-read. I first made this soup over the summer, when I had some tiny, young zucchini.  E.’s not much of a cilantro fan–or anything in that family–so I threw in fresh mint instead.  With winter’s greenery constraints, I’ve adjusted the recipe a bit.  Still simple, and still tangy.  But feel free to leave out the dried mint and toss in some fresh chopped cilantro or other herb instead.

  • ½ Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • sea salt
  • 3 small potatoes, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • ½ Cup juice from canned whole tomatoes and 2 whole tomatoes
  • ½ TBS dried mint
  • 1 Cup water
  • ¼ tsp lemon zest, optional
  • juice of 1 lemon

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stock pot over medium heat.  Add onions and sea salt and cook slowly until soft, about 15 minutes.

simmering soup

Stir in potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes (crushed in you hands–mm, gooshy!) and juice, dried mint, water, and zest.  Up the heat to a hearty simmer.  Stir occasionally and adjust salt as necessary.  Cook well-nigh forever, or until the potatoes are fork-tender and the zucchini falling apart.

Remove from heat.  Stir in lemon juice.  I just dumped it all in at once, but if you’re looking for a less tart soup, add it in quarter-cup increments to your liking.

Blend until smooth, either with an immersion blender or in cooled batches in a blender.  Serve hot or cold. Oh, and serve with garlic toasts!

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