Weeknight Cooking

Summer Squash Soup + Brown Butter Tomatoes

June 29, 2014

We're celebrating Meatless Mondays with balanced, delicious meal plans. We hope you'll join us -- whether you're vegetarian all the time or just here and there. 

Today: Summer vegetables as they were meant to be.


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Last week we brought you summer fruit for dinner. This week, we bring you summer vegetables. (Admittedly, both tomatoes and squash are actually fruits, but you know what we mean.)

Raw vegetables are delicious in their own right (more crudité, please!), but add a few key ingredients to the mix, and you just might elevate your vegetables to their ideal Platonic form -- or at least make them taste really, really good. Bring out the sweetness of summer squash with a hit of fresh tarragon, then flatter your tomatoes with a generous douse of brown butter and a slice of fresh bread. Your vegetables (okay, fruits) will thank you for helping them to reach their full potential.

The Menu

Take advantage of our handy grocery list and game plan, or click the recipe photos or titles to see (and save and print) the full recipes.

Tarragon Lemon Summer Squash Soup by anotherfoodieblogger

Substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth for a vegetarian soup. 

Brown Butter Tomatoes by Amanda Hesser

The List 

Serves 4

1 large yellow squash
2 green onions, light green and white parts only
1/2 medium onion
Fresh tarragon
3 cups vegetable broth
Juice of 1/2 large lemon
2 large or 3 small ripe beefsteak tomatoes 
Flaky sea salt

Snipped chives, shredded Parmesan, and croutons (optional)
Baguette or other country bread

You probably have butter, olive oil, garlic, ground black pepper, and either milk or cream in your kitchen. If not, add those to the list, too.

The Plan

1. Chop the squash, the green onions, and the onion. Sauté them in 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil until the onion is tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add 1 minced garlic clove in the last minute or so. 

2. Season the squash with black pepper to taste, then add 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon, the vegetable broth, and the lemon juice, and stir it all together.

3. Cover the pot and bring it to a simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Once the squash is tender all the way through, remove it from the heat and add 1/2 cup milk or cream. Purée about half the soup using a blender, immersion blender, or a food processor, then return it to the pot and keep it warm.

4. Cut the tomatoes into 1/3-inch thick slices and arrange them, overlapping the slices a bit, over 4 plates. Place 6 tablespoons of butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Let it melt completely and simmer until nutty and brown. Swirl the pan about every 30 seconds. When the butter turns the color of a hazelnut, remove it from the heat and use a soup spoon to ladle it generously over the tomatoes. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper, then get them to the table. 

5. Quickly divide the soup into four bowls and garnish with additional tarragon, along with chives, shredded Parmesan cheese, and croutons, if you'd like. Slice up a loaf of good bread and use it to mop up your extra soup and the tomato-y butter drippings. 

Photos by James Ransom and Joseph DeLeo

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Frances P. August 9, 2015
Just wondering what kind of squash you are referring to? Thanks. Would love to make this.
JadeTree June 30, 2014
Well, this was sensational. I came home today with squash, basil and the first of the tomatoes from out CSA farm so this menu was perfectly timed! The soup is letter perfect - I used basil instead of tarragon, and half and half. The tomatoes were sublime. I gave the kids lightly toasted slices of sourdough and they made their own croutons. Ate it with summer thunder in the background. Perfect meal.
Sarah J. July 1, 2014
I love the crouton idea. I need more croutons in my life, please.
Food O. June 29, 2014
Can. What can I use in place of milk or cream?
Sarah J. June 29, 2014
You can leave it out, but the soup won't be creamy! You can also use a dairy-free alternative for the milk, but it could slightly alter the flavors.
Food O. June 29, 2014
What an I use in place of milk or cream?
g33kgurrl August 10, 2015
Try this - it's fabulous!! http://food52.com/blog/12856-the-genius-no-dairy-trick-for-turning-vegetables-into-cream
Dina M. June 29, 2014
I cannot wait until the tomatoes are ripe so I can make those brown butter tomatoes again...maybe everyday!