Fresh Summer Dinner

The combination of this soup and salad for a summer dinner is excellent.

Curried Zucchini Soup
(from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food: Great Food Fast)

Prep Time : 25 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 3 medium), sliced 1 inch thick
  • 1 baking potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted, for garnish
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and 1 tablespoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and curry powder; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add zucchini, potato, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. In batches, puree soup in a blender (do not fill more than halfway) until smooth; serve immediately, or let cool, and refrigerate in an airtight container until chilled. Garnish with toasted almonds.

The flavor is fresh with a slight kick from the curry. I serve with a dollop of sour cream/fresh parmesan. Serve with the following salad and you're done!


Tomato and Grilled Bread Salad
(from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food: Great Food Fast)

Total Time: 25 Minutes

Serves 4

  • 1/2 pound country bread, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Heat grill to medium. Brush bread slices on both sides with 2 tablespoons oil. Grill until lightly charred on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into large cubes.
  2. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with tomatoes, cucumber, and basil. Drizzle with vinegar and remaining 1/4 cup oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, and serve.

If you don't have country bread, I always use whatever bread I have. In the photo, I used homemade wheat bread. For both dishes, if you use ripe produce from your garden, even better!