Thursday, May 31, 2012

Recipe 27: Clam and Pasta Soup with Summer Squash

I hope this Clam and Pasta Soup with Summer Squash makes up for
my lapse in timely post-making.
Whatever, whatever.  So I'm a huge slacker.  But you guys, summer vacation starts in a mere matter of weeks, when I will (in ambitious terms), write up my recipes and review of the books from the Dinner Train, and also several reviews of things I've read while not reading the books I said I would for Dinner Train (ahem...Middlmarch and Little Women, I'm looking at you with all my 19th century earnest goodness/judgment).  So spoiler alert - not a fan of LW.  Dubious about my ability/desire to finish in for Saturday's book club meeting, but club we will!  Until then, tide yourself over with the following recipe for clam and pasta soup, which I made some adaptions to (and suggestions for improving an already good thing) below.  Tip: canned clams can be found in the same area as tuna.  Don't overthink and look in the fancy section like I did!  Also, this soup is rather economical - but unlike many recipes, unless you are serving it as a starter, the serving size is closer to 3 for a main menu, but this might change if you follow my recommendation make it a little heartier by doubling the cans of clam and use only the juice in one.  Let me know!  This soup is also rather a quick one to make - I'd say it takes under an hour!

Clam and Pasta Soup with Summer Squash

Clam and Pasta Soup with Summer Squash
(adapted from The Soup Bible, by Debra Mayhew)
Serves 3-4, will be on your table in under an hour if you are efficient


- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, minced or chopped
- 2-4 cloves of garlic (more if you like more garlic, less if you like less, duh)
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp sun-dried tomato paste (or 1 Tbsp finely chopped rehydrated dried tomatoes + one tsp olive oil)
- 1 summer squash, chopped (pieces the size of your pasta - aka yellow zucchini)
-  1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp Italian season blend
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2/3 cup red wine (drink the rest)
- 2/3 cup small pasta shapes (mini bow-ties, etc.)
- 1 5-6 oz jar or can of clams in natural juice (or, go for two, using the juice of one can and draining the other for more meat in this soup)
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (save some as a garnish)
- Salt-N-Pepa to taste

The Path to Delicious:
  1. Heat oil in your Le Creuset, Dutch Oven, or large cooking vessel o'choice over medium heat.  
  2. Add onion, and sautee about five minutes, while stirring and enjoying the wine you opened for cooking purposes only (psshhh).  Don't forget about your onions, which should get soft.
  3. Add the garlic, and saute a minute.
  4. Add tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, summer squash, and sautee for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add sugar, seasoning, stock, wine, sugar, and season with salt and pepper.  Ah - stir it.  Stir it real good. 
  6. Crank up your heat until it boils. 
  7. Then, lower the heat to a simmer, add pasta, and cook 10 minutes.  Your pot should be uncovered, and you should stir at least once, probably more times, between sips of wine to prevent sticking, sticking real good (to the bottom of your pan)
  8. Now, pay real close attention. There is a reason nobody makes clam flavored gum (although I'm sure the internet could disprove this statement).  Add your clams and the juice to the soup.  Cook only 3-4 minutes, tops, before removing the pot from the heat to stop/prevent it from cooking longer.  
  9. Add chopped parsley and push it around real good in your soup.  
  10. Serve hot, sprinkling with even more black pepper and some parsley as a garnish.  
  11. Et voila.  Or something.  Enjoy, nonetheless!

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