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from the garden: zucchini soup

Monday, August 30, 2010

I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy reading cooking blogs; while reading the latest posts of some of my favorite blogs I came across this recipe for zucchini soup. With the Seattle air already taking on a noticable Autumn crisp and the large zucchini on my balcony my dad dropped off, I knew I had to try this.

The other two star ingredients are onion and garlic, which my dad also grows in the garden and dropped off. What I like about this recipe is how quickly it cooks and how few kitchen utensils are used; a knife and cutting board, dutch oven or soup pot, and a blender. The less dishes to clean-up after cooking the happier I am. I even had less because after I finished blending the soup the glass cracked in the middle of the blender and I had to throw it away; I would’ve rather washed it.

Using zucchini to make soup never crossed my mind before and I’m glad I found the recipe to do it. Who doesn’t need zucchini recipes this time of year, they are everywhere. I did find this soup to be a little lacking in flavor, but now I have a good soup base to experiment with. (I also didn’t add the fresh herbs to it.) I still thought it tasted good and was refreshing with the squeeze of lemon juice at the end.

Zuchinni Soup
Adapted from Simply Recipes.

I made a few adjustments, this recipe is called spicy zucchini soup because it uses a jalapeno, I didn’t have one and used chipotle powder instead. I used plain sandwich bread and didn’t use all the liquid called for. I still thought it was too much liquid. To dress this up for friends add cream to it.

4 tbsp olive oil
2 pounds chopped zucchini (skin on), about 5-6 cups (1 large zucchini)
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
small palmful chipotle powder (use anything spicy you like or have handy, optional)
1 1/2 cups bread, chopped
2 cups broth, chicken or vegetable
1 cup water
2 tbsp cilantro (I used frozen, optional)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes until the onions are translucent, but not browned. Add the garlic and zucchini and sauté for another 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Sprink with salt and whatever you are using to add heat to the dish.

Add the bread, broth, and water, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cilantro (if using). Purée in a blender or food processor until smooth, working in batches if necessary; or, use an immersion blender if you have one.

Return the soup to the pot. Add the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste, stir well to combine. 

I added a little cheese to my bowl for a boost of flavor and a couple of tortilla chips fo a little crunch.

Serve hot or chilled. Keeps for a week in the fridge.

Like  I said above, I thought this soup was lacking in flavor. I still thought it was great and can’t wait to make it again, but add my stamp to it.

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