Everyday Divas Celebrations
with Mimi and Sue
Sue's Casual Company Dinner

Minted Zucchini Soup
  • 3 celery stalks
Clean and dice.  Set aside.
  • 1 large sweet onion
Peel and dice.  Set aside.
  • 3 carrots
Peel and dice.​  Set aside.
Celery, carrots and onion should be diced to the same size so they cook evenly.
Heat 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a deep sauce pot.  When shimmering add celery, onion and carrot dice. Sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. 
  • 4 medium zucchini
Scrub with a vegetable brush and cut lengthwise in half and then crosswise into 1/2 inch thickness.  Add to sauce pot. 
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
Add to sauce pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the zucchini is fork tender.  Start checking after 5 minutes.  Allow to thoroughly cool and process with an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor.  
  • 1 large bunch mint
Rinse, thoroughly dry and rough chop.
Before serving, reheat soup, stir in mint and season with salt and pepper to taste  For added richness stir in two tablespoons of unsalted butter.

I said:  "Mimi, the soup starts with a classic soffritto -- the holy trinity of Italian cooking."  She asked: "What's that?"   When I explained her response was:  "Oh I call that mirepoix."

You say tomato, I say tomato --  Sue's reference point is Italy, mine is France. 

You can add some marscapone, creme fraiche, sour cream or greek yogurt and swirl it around to make the soup look pretty and add a little richness.

I would use a fraction of the mint that Sue suggests -- I don't like mint in cooking.  I'd definitely add whole milk Greek yogurt.  I am hooked on Fage when I cook. 

Honey Mustard Chicken
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  • 8 bone in chicken thighs
Cut off excess fat, rinse and pat dry.
  • 1/3 cup dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 6 squirts of honey
  • 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
Whisk together and pour into a pie plate.
  • 1 1/4 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs in a second pie plate.
Dip each side of the chicken thighs in the marinade then dip each side of the thighs in the bread crumbs.  Press down so bread crumbs adhere.  Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with non-stick aluminum foil.  Drizzle chicken with extra virgin olive oil and bake for 30-35 minutes.  ​

Lining your baking sheet with foil makes clean up much easier.  You might have left over marinade, just throw it away.

When I oven bake chicken, I use panko bread crumbs tossed with about 2 tbsp of melted butter.  The chicken turns a nice golden brown color from the butter.  (No need to drizzle extra virgin olive oil if you do it this way.)

Sue!  6 squirts of honey!?!  Let's just guess that it's about 4 tbsps.  Taste the marinade, if it's too mustardy add more honey.