purslane and zucchini

The last year and a half of our lives has brought change on many fronts – our relocation, members of the family gained and lost, changes to our employment and income level, and the continuation of a change we had already begun with respect to the way we cook and eat. We still love our meat, but the kind of meat that we buy doesn’t come cheap, so we’re buying less of it, stretching what we do buy, and planning more meatless meals.

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Mike said to me that if I had told him a year ago he’d be eating, and feeling satisfied by, a nearly vegan meal like the one we had last night, he wouldn’t have believed it, but there we were, sitting at our table with empty bowls in front of us and bellies full of wedges of one perfect summer tomato, a tiny bit of cheese, and a truly delicious, totally meat-free soup. I had spotted the recipe in the current issue of Food and Wine, a chilled puree of zucchini and aromatics topped with lemony purslane, and Mike offered to take it on for Monday night’s dinner.

Dinner:  August 24, 2009

He prepared the soup according to the recipe and left it in the fridge to chill, and when I got home I tasted and tweaked it just a bit, adding a bit more salt and a splash of Champagne vinegar to brighten the flavor. The soup was light and creamy and surprisingly filling, a refreshing dish for a steamy night, and I suspect it would be even better with a swirl of yogurt or creme fraiche added – though it would no longer qualify as a vegan dish. Regardless, this is just the kind of recipe that makes it very easy to eat your vegetables.

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