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In the Kitchen: Zucchini Parmesan Soup

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Zucchini and other squash are abundant right now at farmer's markets and in home gardens (it's one of the easier vegetables to grow). Making big batches of delicious Italian-style zucchini soup is a good way to transform your bounty, and this dish uses flavors that will please even the most zucchini-fatigued palate.

This soup can be a main course for two (put some crusty bread and butter on the side), or an appetizer for four (great with pasta or a nice pork chop). You can also add diced Italian sausage if you want a non-veggie soup. To drink, choose a sherry, port or other sweet wine.

Italian Zucchini Parmesan Soup

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4 regular or 2 large zucchini, sliced into batons
One onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups broth (chicken, beef, or veggie, whatever you prefer)
1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
(Optional: 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained, for extra color and taste)
One egg, beaten in warm water
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish.
Salt and pepper

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sweat them down, then throw in zucchini. Cook for about five minutes, then add tomatoes and broth. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and cook at a medium simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until veggies are soft. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, then (if you like) take a stick blender and puree everything (or you can puree half and leave nice chunks of veggie). Beat cheese into egg mixture, then gently pour into soup. Serve with more cheese on top.