Quick Zucchini Soup

July 13, 2009  •  Soup, Vegetables

This picture of the first zucchini from my summer garden doesn’t really tell the story. I checked the garden on Monday and this was about a small pickle size. Busy with events of the week, I didn’t get around to looking again until Saturday, when I discovered that it was as long as my arm and about 5 inches in diameter. Gotta love zucchini, eager little beavers that they are!
With that much zucchini on hand, I decided to work on several zucchini recipes and I’ll post them over the next week or so (including the delicious zucchini chips I made with my school gardeners this morning). The first was a quick zucchini soup which freezes really well. I made up a big pot of it and put three large containers in the freezer for later.

You start with some onion and garlic – if you’re planning to puree the soup like I was, then no need to do any fancy slicing and dicing. They went into the pot first to start cooking down.

Next I added the zucchini, and continued to cook it all for awhile, mostly to get a little caramelization and flavor into the soup.

Finally, I added stock – either chicken or vegetable will do just fine – and a big handful of minced fresh thyme from my herb garden. I let the whole thing simmer for awhile, then used my trusty stick blender to puree it before adding some half and half, salt and pepper.

This is a simple, mild soup that would benefit from either some garlic croutons or some grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese over the top. If you’re going through the effort, make a big batch and freeze some. You’ll be happy you did come mid-winter. For now, enjoy it at room temperature!

Quick Zucchini Soup
Serves 8

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 cups zucchini, roughly chopped
6 cups stock, chicken or vegetable
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 cup half and half, optional
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat, then add onion and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and zucchini and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add stock and thyme, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until vegetables are all softened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and puree using a stick blender or in batches in a traditional blender. Add half and half, if using, then salt and pepper to taste. Notes: For an alternative, grate zucchini and onion on a box grater before cooking and do not puree at the end. Can be served with garlic croutons on top or sprinkled with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.


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