Farm to Table: Soup and Flat Bread for a rainy day

Leek, Potato and Fennel soup

August 26, 2010: This post was featured on FoodBuzz Top 9 today

It's been a wet couple of days in the North East. I had been away from my home and beloved kitchen for five days and returning yesterday night I was just overcome with relief and happiness. I don't know why.. I typically love travelling and have a constant itch for it. But, I suppose doing it every week is quite another story :) I just don't know how consultants do this packing-up-every-week-for-work thing!

I think what I missed most, is the comfort of my kitchen and home cooked food even it be a simple Poha that I toss up for myself. The restaurant where Mr. FSK was put up was very fine, indeed, but then there is nevertheless, too much of a fine thing. After a couple of butter soaked, French Chef-ed dinners, I was about all ready for good ol' rice and dal!

Heirloom Tomato, Zucchini  flatbread

Anyway, as you may have guessed, I haven't been knocking up much in the kitchen lately and I even have missed a couple of group postings lately..sighh.. So, today, I am posting about something that I had made before I left. As it happens, it seems perfect for the weather now...

Warm soup with fresh bread, I am craving now and perhaps I may just have to remake this Leek, Fennel and Potato Soup with Pancetta today! I love my carbs and for this soup I decided to go with a Zucchini and Heirloom Tomato Flatbread topped with raw cow's milk cheese. Ofcourse, in keeping with the Farm to Table theme, all of the produce, including the cheese came from my CSA! :)

Leek, Potato and Fennel soup and Zucchini Heirloom Tomato flatbread

Btw, I have an abundance of zucchini in my fridge. I have made the usual suspects with them - tarts, breads. I am sure there are more ways to enjoy this summer vegetable! I would really welcome any other recipe suggestions you have for them.

On that note, I wish you all a happy week ahead and I'll go, try to plough through my backlog of to-dos this week! :)

For more ideas on cooking fresh, seasonal produce, please click on the "Farm to Table Series" tab above.

Leek, Fennel and Potato Soup with Pancetta

1 leek, cleaned and sliced
1/4 cup fennel, sliced
1 clove of garlic minced
2 medium red potatoes
1-1/2 cup, chicken stock
2 oz pancetta, cubed
1/4 tsp paprika
salt, pepper and oil as needed

In a pan, saute the pancetta until the fat has rendered and the cubes are crispy. Reserve the cubes and leave the fat in the pan. To the hot fat, add the leeks, fennel and garlic and saute until soft. Add the potatoes and toss to coat with the leek and fat mixture. Add one cup of the stock, season and let cook until the potatoes are fully cooked.

Proces the mixture to a puree and return to the stove top. Add the remaining stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for five more minutes. Serve garnished with reserved fried pancetta and parmesan cheese.

Zucchini and Heirloom Tomato Flatbread

1/2 pizza dough
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 heirloom tomato, sliced
1 T spicy tomato chutney (I used a store bought one)
1/4 cup soft cheese (I used raw cow's milk cheese. Can substitute with fontina or smoked mozzarella)
salt and pepper as needed
Oil to saute the zucchini

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Lightly saute the zucchini and set aside. Roll out the dough to about 7 inches. Brush with olive oil. Spread the tomato chutney on the base, leaving a small 1/2 inch border. Arrange the sauteed zucchini around the base. Follow with a layer of tomato slices.

Bake for 5 minutes until the crust starts becoming golden. Since this is a really thin crust, it won't take long. So, keep an eye on it. Sprinkle the cheese over and return to the oven for a couple of minutes until the cheese has melted.

Cool on rack for a couple of minutes, slice and serve as is or with soup.

And, ofcourse I am sending this summery flat bread to Susan atYeastSpotting.