We sometimes stop in at this discount grocery store. Mostly it’s full of processed food that we wouldn’t eat anyway. And sometimes you come across completely disgusting food, well beyond what can actually be rightfully deemed “food”. But usually there is a thing or two worth having at a decently low price. And every once in a while an amazing find that makes it totally worth while to stop by whenever we’re in town. Like our most recent trip where we came home with a 40 lb. box of organic bananas for $6 and an entire case of organic red peppers for $7 all in near perfect condition. Amazing, right? It takes a little work and hustle to get it all preserved before it has a chance to go bad, but it’s totally worth the effort.
We sliced and dried some of the bananas in the oven and froze the rest in chunks to be used in smoothies and things in the future. Most of the peppers were frozen raw-some in chunks (to be used primarily for kabobs) and some sliced (for stir-fries and the like). They keep quite well that way.
But first thing first, I made some soup! A big pot of soup- some to eat and some to freeze for later.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
1 extra large zucchini (or 2 medium, or 3 small)
3 cloves garlic
15 red peppers
1 tsp red pepper flakes
bunch of fresh basil
bunch of fresh parsley
Slice the onions. Saute them in oil until translucent. Add in the garlic, cook for a minute or so stirring frequently. Add a good glug of balsamic vinegar- use care, it’s going to sizzle quite a bit! Allow the sauce of vinegar and onion juices to thicken. Add the zucchini* and red pepper flakes. Add enough broth to just cover everything. Simmer until the zucchini is soft. While this cooks, roast your peppers. Slice them in half. Remove the stem. Scoop out the seeds. Broil them on a cookie sheet until the skin bubbles and they get a bit browned. Flip and cook the other side. Strip the leaves of the herbs and add them along with the peppers to the broth. Puree the whole thing, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
*I used a Vitamix to blend my soup. If you aren’t using some sort of high powered blending device, you might want to consider peeling both the zucchini and the peppers. You may also need to cook the peppers in the broth for a while to soften them.
We’re in the final week of summer vacation and I’m both trying to prepare and trying to say “yes” as much as possible…getting my lessons plans in order, trying to get the house set up to accommodate everything, switching out baby clothes for the next size up (yet again), wondering where everyone else’s cold weather clothing got to, trying to keep up with the garden and the harvesting and the processing of food. I’ve been spending a lot of time working to get my homeschooling binder in order, updating our calendar and trying to wrap my brain around new schedules; work two days a week for the big boys, multiple dance classes, multiple riding lessons, other possible classes- all of the related shows and special events and the things that come and go; in the last month between us we’ve had 8 doctors appointments, most of them 45 minutes to an hour away. That’s not counting the all day affair that is traveling to our geneticist, which took place in the last days of July. I’m having trouble trying to figure out where to fit in all of the dentist and eye doctor appointments that need to be scheduled, amongst all of the appointments with the other doctors and specialists and how are we to still have time for anything else? It’s all rather stressful. So far there are only 3 appointments scheduled for September. But that’s mostly because we’re supposed to be going away for a while, so they can’t be scheduled for a bit. Did I mention that I’m trying to plan a trip? Right. There is a lot of planning for that. And then there are the yes things…meeting friends at the pond for yet another “last swim”? Yes. Make ice cream for the third day in a row? sure, why not. Work on that ridiculously messy big project? go for it. Sometimes the yeses are stressful too (for me anyway), but worth it.