Herbed Zucchini Soup and Zucchini Bread!

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Zucchini bread and soup are great ways to use up your summer bumper crop of zucchini. Tinky Weisblat, food writer at TinkyCooks.com, showed us how to make them.

Herbed Zucchini Soup

1 to 2 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 pounds zucchini, with stems removed, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups water or broth (chicken or vegetable, depending on your taste)
1 handful basil leaves, tightly packed-or dill or parsley; your herb of choice
salt and pepper to taste
a little half and half, sour cream, or yogurt (optional)

In a 4-quart Dutch oven cook the onion and garlic in the oil over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until they soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the chopped zucchini and the teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 more minutes. Add the water or broth plus the herbs. Simmer the soup, partially covered, until it is tender, about 15 minutes.
Purée the soup in a blender or food processor. Remember to use caution with the hot soup; you will want to process it in batches to avoid eruptions.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Adding a little half and half to the soup or serving it with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt can give it a bit more depth. Or you may prefer leaving it as is to let the zucchini and herbs shine.

Yummy Zucchini Bread

1 cup canola oil
1-1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
3 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups flour
2 cups grated raw zucchini
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two loaf pans.
Combine the oil and sugar, and beat in the eggs, followed by the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Stir in the flour. Gently add the zucchini, raisins, and nuts (if desired). Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean.

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