Sunday, June 27, 2010

Zucchini Goat Cheese Soup and Le Bootcamp

Here's a refreshing summer recipe that wasn't in any way my idea. I try to keep it a secret --especially from myself, but I have gotten really fat. It's no secret to James who has always been thin. Last week while flipping through Bon Appetit magazine I happened on an article about an internet subscription program called Le Bootcamp, devised by French "celebrity coach" Valerie Orsoni with recipes developed by her father, chef Edward Orsoni. Chef Orsoni may not be a household name but the recipes printed with the article actually looked good, and -- even better -- seemed like things James might like too so I could think about trying the plan without facing the chore of making two separate and, worst of all, totally unequal dinners every night. I did a little investigating when I got home and decided to give the subscription plan a try.
I just finished day 6 of the week one detox -- mostly fruits vegetables and a surprising amount of yogurt. This pale green soup was my dinner recipe.
I coarsely chopped up 4 zucchini and one onion, added a pinch each of thyme and oregano (my additions) and covered everything with about 4 cups of chicken broth (my variation also) and brought the pot to a boil. I allowed the vegetables to simmer covered for about 20 minutes until very tender. I them combined the cooked vegetables with their liquid and 4 ounces of herbed goat cheese in the blender and pureed. Done.
The original recipe called for Boursin cheese. Aside from the fact that Boursin harkens back to days of giant shoulder pads, melba toast and episodes of Dynasty better off forgotten, our store doesn't carry it. I glanced at the Alouette (maybe today's version of the spreadable cheese) and finally decided that fresh goat cheese (about the same fat and calories) was a better substitute and shuttled away from the brand/name processed food section of the store. The goat cheese gave a subtle summer tang and the kind of creamy mouth feel usually reserved for recipes loaded with cream and butter. It's a genius idea I'm going to try with other soups and sauces. This soup, although maybe didn't inspire the same enthusiasm James exudes for pizza or his favorite spaghetti with clam sauce, along with a side of vegetable rice and toast my detox recipe passed muster with the big man. Might even make a return appearance for company.

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