Quick Zucchini Soup

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.


Morta Di Fame said...

This nlooks so good. I was looking for a zucchini soup recipe. Thanks!

Tanya said...

I've never had zucchini soup - I was looking for more things to do with zucchinis.

Vanilla and Thyme said...

I was "googling" zucchini soup and came across your blog! I will be giving this recipe a try; it sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing! :)

Anonymous said...

Even though I let it boil and simmer a little longer than you suggested, my family found that the skin was too tough to eat, despite the extra time I spent to puree the mixture. The flavor was very good, but do you think I was using a zucchini that was too mature? Next time, I would be tempted to peal it. Thanks for the recipe.

Cooking with Michele said...

Anonymous - sorry you found the skin too tough. I'm not sure I ever peel zucchini for any recipe, so perhaps you had a type of zucchini that does have a tougher skin. In any case, I prefer leaving the skin also for nutrients. Did you puree the soup at the end or leave the veggies in chunks? Pureeing might be more acceptable to your family - or feel free to peel!

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