Growing up, my dad always had a vegetable garden in the yard. Never a huge one, but one that contained tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and basil. I remember weaving through the rows of tomato plants with Dad. Sometimes, he took a small salt shaker with him and we'd pluck a rosy plum tomato off the vine and with the sun beating down on us, sprinkle the salt on a tomato before we ate it. The warm fruit would burst and squirt juice in every direction often dribbling down our hands. It was glorious and one of life's small pleasures.
Our summer bounty would yield vegetables for fresh tomato sauce, eggplant either for Parmesan or just breaded and baked/fried slices to nibble on. Zucchini went into soups, breads, or stuffed with mounds of breadcrumbs, cheese and sometimes browned ground beef. And those zucchini flowers! Battered and deep fried....fit for a king! Nonna made a Sicilian style pizza in her dark lasagna pan. It is what we call today, Pizza Margherita...tomato slices, fresh mozzarella with fresh basil on homemade crust. The colors of Italy. I adored eating it cold the next morning!
The best treat...dunking slices of Italian bread into a bowl filled with chunks of tomato, basil, olive oil, a splash of warm water and salt. There we would all be...dunking, chatting, laughing together until we ate our fill. So simple, so inexpensive....so heavenly wonderful! If you add slices of fresh mozzarella to it, it became tomato caprese, but in those days I didn't even know it had a fancy name. It was just? Just what Momma made for us from the garden.
God Bless Our Home. Truer words were never written. It was blessed then and it is blessed now. Grazie, Dio.
2 medium size zucchini, small diced pieces
1 can broth, any variety
6 cups of water
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 T olive oil
rice or orzo pasta, optional
egg, beaten, optional
Rinse and dry two zucchini. Dice into small cubes. Dice onion. Peel garlic cloves.
Sprinkle olive oil (not too much or soup will be greasy) into a soup pot. Once oil is hot, add the garlic cloves and saute for a couple of minutes then add zucchini & onion. Saute until clear and soft approx. 20 min. Add parsley and basil. Mix. Add broth and water. Heat to boil then lower to simmer. Season to taste with salt, onion powder, garlic powder. Simmer for 1 hour.
**Zucchini Egg Drop Soup: after soup has simmered for an hour, slowly add one beaten egg to it and whisk vigorously. I separate the soup into two containers and have one half egg drop and the other half without egg.
Soup freezes very well. Serves 6
Remember To Make Memories At The Table