After last week’s post, I really feel I need to give you all a debrief on how things went. The answer is: good! I didn’t get 10/10 for driving on the highway, but I did average teetering on B+ by my instructor’s standards, and certainly much better than I expected.
Hoo boy was I nervous when he picked me up. All of a sudden I had forgotten how to turn, and all about parking brakes.
It just kind of came about organically. One minute we’re on Adelaide St., the next we’re turning right onto a long ramp to get onto the Don Valley Parkway. No turning back.
I was breathing so heavily. And then all of a sudden I wasn’t. Resolve kicked in.
We drove all the way up the Parkway and way north on Highway 404, came back, and then did it again. It was dark out, it rained, and Toronto traffic lived up to its reputation. But I did it, and when I got home, I felt like the world was my oyster.
Chilled Yellow Zucchini Soup with Cured Strawberries
*recipe from Smoke and Pickles, by Edward Lee
For the soup:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 pounds yellow squash, coarsely chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons salt
freshly cracked black pepper
For the Strawberries:
1 pound fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the yellow squash and thyme and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the squash is soft all the way through. Take off the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
Transfer the soup to a blender, add the sour cream and salt, and puree on high until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Check the consistency: if the soup is a little gritty, strain it through a fine mesh-sieve. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or as long as overnight.
About 1 hour before serving, make the strawberries. Slice the strawberries into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place them in a glass bowl. Sprinkle the salt and sugar over the strawberries and gently toss them with your fingers-making sure not to crush them. Let them cure for an hour at room temperature, no longer, or they will get too soft.
To serve, ladle the chilled soup into bowls. Top each one with a few cured strawberries. Crack some fresh black pepper over the top and serve immediately.