Italian Grandma Stuff

The temperature did a little nose dive today. 79° was the high. A little taste of Fall. I took advantage and made a Fall-y soup. Glad I did because I listened to the weather report tonight and apparently it isn't going to last. Triple digits will be back by the weekend.

This is one of those warm yummy reminds you of Grandma soups. It's a great recipe when you want to clean out the veggie bin. I used zucchini, spinach, corn and lentils but peas, green beans, cannellini beans would be great too.

Shelly's Italian Grandma Soup

1 Yellow Onion, diced
2 cups Zucchini, chopped (I used a variety of summer squash)
1/2 lb. Ground Beef
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Cooked Lentils (I used Trader Joe's Precooked)
4 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup Good Tomato Sauce (I used some homemade I made the other day)
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
1/2 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 cup Spinach (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup Corn Kernels
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Parmesan

More Parmesan or Ricotta Salata grated on top

Saute onions and zucchini till golden. Add ground beef and saute till no pink is seen. Add garlic cook 1 minute more. Add remaining ingredients (except Parmesan) and simmer covered for 45 minutes. Add 1 Tablespoon Parmesan in last minutes of cooking. Serve with a little cheese grated on top.

My neighbor knocked on my door Sunday and surprised me with a huge bag of tomatoes. I mean huge like 10 lbs of the suckers. Her sister's garden was in overdrive and so she was passing on the bounty. When you have that many tomatoes at one time the only solution is to make sauce. My Sicilian Grandma would have been proud. I spent Sunday up to my eyeballs in sauce making.

Old School Grandma Sauce Making 101:

Step 1: Wash tomatoes and cook uncovered until the tomatoes are very soft and separate from the skins. Stir occasionally so they don't stick to bottom of pot.

Step 2: Pour the tomatoes into a food mill placed over a large bowl. Turn and press. This will separate the sweet good stuff from the bitter seeds and skins.

Step 3: Saute onions till golden. Add garlic. Add to tomatoes. Now it's optional stuff... in this batch I added carrot and grilled zucchini that was whizzed in a mini food processor (for sweetness) and fresh basil. You can add sweet red peppers, olives, cooked sausage, hunks of pork or beef, lots of choices. Simmer till desired thickness is achieved.

You can freeze or can at this point. I froze three huge containers, used some for the soup above and some for lunch on this yummy Tortilla Pizza...

Shelly's Salami & Four Cheese Tortilla Pizza - Mission Brand Carb Balance Whole Wheat Fajita Size Tortilla topped with Homemade Sauce, Genoa Salami, Ricotta cheese, Mozzarella cheese, Ricotta Salata, Parmesan and a sprinkle of Italian Seasoning

Some Eggface Favorite Soups:

Shelly's Chinese New Year Meatball Soup
Shelly's Italian Beef & Bean Soup
Shelly's Cannelini Bean Soup
Shelly's Black Bean Soup
Shelly's Chili Cheese Soup
Shelly's Cannellini Artichoke Soup
Shelly's Broccoli Cheese Soup
Shelly's Beef & Black Bean Crockpot Stew