For this stewy, soothing soup, Michael Romano prefers using dense-textured cucuzza, which is sometimes called snake squash. He and his siblings used to transform the twisty, coil-shaped gourd into make-believe crowns and bracelets when they were kids. You can substitute any type of summer squash for the cucuzza.
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1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 large tomatoes—peeled, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 pounds cucuzza—peeled, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise—or zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 large baking potato—peeled, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/4 cup shredded basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
How to Make It
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 6 minutes. Increase the heat to moderately high. Add the tomatoes, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes start to break down, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and potato and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.
The soup can be covered and refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before serving.
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