Sunday, July 10, 2016

Safeway Tuscan White Bean and Zucchini Soup by Margaret Ullrich

Okay… the two big holidays for North Americans - July 1 and 4 - have passed, so we are now officially into summer proper.
And, if you live in Canada, tomorrow is Free Slurpee Day!
Here’s hoping all Winnipeggers do their bit so that we will continue to be the Slurpee Capital of Canada!
A brain freeze headache never killed anyone.
It just helps to prepare us for our -40º C winters.

it’s funny how we get used to things being done a certain way on certain days.
Not having fireworks at the start of July just wouldn’t seem right.
Traditions help us make a few memories, it’s a bit of fun to share, and what’s wrong with that?
Not a thing, because, as we all know, laughter is the best medicine.

Laughter and traditions aside, one can’t exist on slurpees.
No, really, the green slurpee does not count as a fruit or vegetable.
We do have to eat or drink a bit of the four major food groups every day.
And that means carbohydrates, proteins and dairy products, as well as real fruits and vegetables. 


Before Sobeys bought it, Safeway could be counted on to have a wide assortment of fruits and vegetables of all kinds and forms: fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juices.
And their food was carried in budget-friendly and family-friendly sizes.
The same considerate marketing plan carried through to their dairy department, which carried 2.5 Kg bags of Instant Skim Milk Powder.
It’s pretty easy for a family to drink 25 litres of milk.

Sobeys has made some changes in what can be found on the shelves, and their plans aren’t quite working the way they hoped.
The second quarter’s results have come in and, as of July 8, president and CEO Marc Poulin has gone out.
Francois Vimard, Empire's CFO and chief administrative officer, has been appointed interim CEO.

On June 8 Lyne Castonguay was named to the newly created position of chief merchandising officer.
Along with holding other jobs, she’s had twelve years experience at Home Depot. 
According to the news article:
"Lyne is a passionate and successful retailer who brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record for growing the businesses she has led", said Marc Poulin, president and CEO of Sobeys.
Yeah, the CEO who was recently replaced by Vimard.

I’m sure Castonguay is experienced, but marketing fresh apples is a little different from, say, stocking and selling door knobs.
As any housewife know, buy too much produce at one time and you could end up with a mound of compost.
The events at Sobeys reminds me of the 1983 movie, Mr. Mom.
What Sobeys needs is someone like the wife and mom, Caroline, played by Teri Garr.
Remember how her 'in the trenches' experience as a budget-conscious housewife saved the day for the tuna guy?
You don’t learn that stuff from selling screwdrivers.


Back to that bag of Instant Skim Milk Powder…
I posted these recipes which were on the back:

There was a third recipe: Tuscan White Bean and Zucchini Soup.
On the bag it said:
This fat-free, emerald green soup is ideal for a family dinner, or dress it up for company by marbling it with sour cream.
I wouldn’t say you’ll end up with an emerald green soup, but it is delicious.


Hints:

Lima grands are also called butter beans.

The soup may be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen.

Have dried beans? 
No problem.  It’s easy to use them in this recipe.
They'll need a little prep work in advance.
One Cup of dried beans will give you an amount equal to about 3 Cups canned.
If soaked for 12–24 hours, cooking time can be shortened by around 30 minutes.

Place in a bowl
2 Cups dried beans
enough cold water to cover by 2 inches
Let stand for 4 hours, or overnight, in the refrigerator.
If the beans appear above water level, add more water.

Drain the beans and place them in a pot with fresh water to cover by 1/2 inch.
Bring to a simmer over low heat.
Cover the pot and simmer about 1 hour.
If the beans appear above water level, add more water.
When the beans are soft, drain and use as canned.

Just a thought…

If you find yourself with leftover cooked beans, Ma had another soup that had beans: Pumpkin Black Bean Soup.
Of course, Ma usually served soup with Maltese hobz. 
You could also serve it with Crusty Italian bread or cornbread.


                        Tuscan White Bean and Zucchini Soup

Makes 8 servings

Thinly slice
1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 5 medium)
Set aside.

Chop about 6 green onions.
You want to have 3/4 Cup chopped onions.
Set aside.

Place in a 3-quart saucepan
the thinly sliced zucchini
the chopped green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced 
2 Cups chicken broth
1/2 can ( 15  1/2 ounces) lima grands, drained
1/4 Cup instant skim milk powder
1/2 teaspoon dry basil
Bring to a boil.
Cover and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 10 minutes.

Puree in a blender for the smoothest texture or a food processor with the metal blade.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle hot soup into bowls.

If garnishing, stir sour cream to soften.
Spoon a dollop into centre of each bowl and swirl with a knife to marble.
Garnish each serving with a sprinkling of green onions.

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