Zucchini soup… Cold or Hot, that is the question

Zucchini Soup

Too much of a good thing has arrived in my garden. Can you say ‘plethora’ of zucchini. My warmth loving veggies are struggling, but that summer squash is the gift that keeps on giving. Living up on Sonoma Mountain, in the Northern California Wine Country, we get the cool, late afternoon breezes that float in from the Pacific Coast not far from us. During the hot summer months this can be a really delightful respite from the heat.  The down side is, my heat loving veggies don’t really appreciate having their tender little coats bathed with the cold damp of the occasional fog that dances along with the breeze. At times it stealthily creeps up this high to envelope us all in its salty cocoon.

Fog creeping in on the horizon

Fog creeping in on the horizon

For the past few years I’ve stubbornly planted the tomatoes, cantalope and watermelon that love heat. Right next to them I pop in the the broccoli, kale and arugula, who thankfully love the cool. Yes, you guessed it, not much luck with the warmth lovers. Between the temperatures and that little B*#tard Mr. Gopher, I have all but given up trying to grow many of my favorite summer beauties. Just this morning a small webbed cantelope that I had been nurturing along, hoping to be rewarded with at least one sweet little bite of  melon for all of my efforts, was half eaten by Mr Gopher last night. That’s it, I surrender.

However, being the eternal optimist, I  gratefully take what I am given and try to create something delicious to share. Enter my very simple, yet oh so delicious, summer squash soup. This really is tasty served both hot or cold, truthfully! It takes just a few minutes to prepare and keeps well for a few days in the fridge.

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Summer Squash Soup with fresh herbs

Fresh veggie side dish

You can easily use an immersion blender or a standard blender for the puree step.  I love the Magic Bullet, as it add a really light, airy quality to the finished product.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs cubed, summer squash, unpeeled
  • 1 medium sweet onion diced
  • 2 roasted, peeled and chopped mild Anaheim green chilies (optional)
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 c. fat free sour cream
  • 2 tbls each of fresh chopped parseley, thyme, basil and mint
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • 1/4 c water or stock
  • 1 tsp curry powder is optional too!

Instructions

  • In a large stock pot, saute chopped onion on medium low until tranlucent, don’t brown it
  • Add the rough chopped summer squash (yellow squash,zucchini or any summer squash with a thin skin will be delicious) and the water, or stock, and reduce heat to low, cover
  • Let the veggies steam/simmer until nice and soft at least 5 minutes (add the curry powder here if using)
  • Turn off the heat, stir in the garlic powder, salt & pepper and fresh herbs, and chopped chilies. Stir with lid off for a minute
  • Allow mixture to cool off enough to handle
  • In small batches, puree the squash in the blender. As each batch is pureed, pour it into a clean stock pot
  • Add the coconut milk and adjust seasoning to taste
  • Warm it through first and then allow it to cool is serving cold
  • stir sour cream in a cup until nice and smooth, if its too thick add a little bit of milk to get a nice smooth consistency

Notes

When serving this soup, either hot or cold, ladle it into a flat bowl and add a tablespoon of sour cream in the center. Take a butter knife, or the end of a spoon, and fan out a design starting at the center and working around.  Or put the sour cream in a squeeze bottle and create your own pretty design on top of the soup.  Garnish with a fresh herb sprig and enjoy!

 

August 4, 2017

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