Thursday, February 16, 2012

Running Intervals and a Little Cream of Zucchini Soup.

Hello!  How are you on this delightful Thursday morning?  The way I look at it…there’s only one more day until the weekend and that makes me happy.  You know what else makes me happy?  A good run including several solid intervals. That equates to a good day for me too.  Yep, yesterday was one of those days. 

Here’s the workout…

Last night I ran right after school, so Jesse and I decided that I could do some intervals around the local community center rather than my planned progression run.  I was in the mood for a little interval action!  Ha!

The workout began with a three-mile warm-up which ended at my starting point.  This particular loop was tracked as 0.85 of a mile, which equates to 1368 meters/1496 yards.  I know, I know…they are weird distances, but the loop was pretty close to a mile and the goal was to be running at “pace” rather than exact distances. 

1 – 5:19 -- (6:15 mile pace) then 1 minute rest
2 – 5:11 -- (6:05 mile pace) then 1 minute rest
3 – 5:05 -- (5:58 mile pace)

I finished the run with a one-mile cool down.

What’s up for the rest of the week?  I’m going to try to run 8 miles today, off Friday, easy 5 miles on Saturday, and then a speedy track workout with Jesse on Sunday.  By Sunday afternoon, I think I will be ready for a good nap! 

Ok, on to the recipe of the day.  For dinner last night, I decided to make a soup using some veggies that I had leftover in my fridge…2 large zucchini, an onion and some garlic.  I also had some fresh basil left from Sunday’s meal and that gave this soup a fresh and vibrant flavor.    

Here’s the recipe

Cream of Zucchini Soup with Fresh Basil

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 large zucchini, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon, Herbs de Provence
2 - 3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt to taste; pepper


Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and a pinch of kosher salt.  Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add zucchini and garlic with another pinch of kosher salt and cook 3 minutes.

Add chicken broth, basil leaves and Herbs de Provence and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.

Once soup has simmered, purée in small batches in a blender or food processor and transfer into a medium saucepan.

Add sour cream and cumin.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and heat through.

I served this soup with mango and strawberries topped with the most delicious raspberry balsamic vinegar from Seasons, a local oil and vinegar tasting room.  This vinegar is thick, sweet and perfect over fresh fruit. 

Walla!  The finished product…

My daughter wanted to try her eye at photography and she caught her meal on camera too.  Not bad!! 

Makes 4 – 6 servings; Takes approximately 45 minutes.

I hope you have a great Thursday!



1 comment:

  1. Actually, I believe your average mile paces were 6:15.24, 6:05.88, and 5:58.82 assuming that you were running 1367.65 meters (.85 x 1609 meters). It sounds as if this was an even more impressive workout than the one you blogged about on Sunday. Maybe someone was slowing you down that day. Anyway, soup sounds tasty! Did you use a mandolin slicer on the zucchini?