Enjoy This Recipe Courtesy of Chef Les Kincaid
Spring Vegetable Soup
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup yellow onion, sliced
1 cup yellow or white corn, freshly cut from the cob, with milk (I suppose frozen would do, but it's a zillion times better this way)
1 cup diced potato, skins on (use a waxy potato like Red Rose or Yukon Gold)
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 quarts chicken stock or vegetable stock
Kosher salt to taste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup tomato concassé (peeled, seeded and diced tomato)
1 cup zucchini, diced
1 cup sugar snap peas or snow peas, cut into 1/4" pieces
1 cup water chestnuts, sliced and slices cut in half
2 cups collard greens or spinach, stemmed and shredded
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Creole croutons (recipe follows)
Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the carrot, onion, corn and potato, and cook uncovered for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the garlic, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock and salt and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer and add the tomato concassé, tomato paste, zucchini, peas, chestnuts and greens. Simmer gently for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender. Sprinkle on the chopped fresh herbs and simmer 1-minute. Add pepper to taste.
Serve in hot bowls, and sprinkle with Creole croutons.
Yield: about 16 servings
3 cups fresh or day-old bread cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Cajun Dust
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Toss the cubes of stale bread with the olive oil, Cajun Dust and granulated garlic. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes.
Variations -- You can make plain croutons by omitting the Cajun Dust, or even the olive oil for a low-fat version.
For Italian croutons: allow to cool, and toss with one tablespoon of Italian seasoning blend, some granulated or fresh crushed garlic, and a tablespoon or so of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.
Croutons will keep in an airtight container for about a week.