Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spicy Cream of Zucchini Soup

Part of a triumphant trio of dishes, this zucchini soup was surprisingly flavorful. And I got to use my new immersion blender! Thanks, Mom! It's one of those things I wouldn't have bought for myself, since one can make do just fine with a normal blender. But it certainly simplifies and speeds up the process.

Deb of Smitten Kitchen beautifully describes the appeal of pureed soups:
In one minute flat, it converts everything in the pot into a velvety consomm√©, bridging the disparity between ingredients (“No! I don’t want to hang out with the icky squash!” whines the orange-fleshed potato) like a mother insisting her children play nicely together. No more alarming boiled vegetable flavor, no more awkward, thin spaces between ingredients, with each spoonful the same as the last, I find these soups contemplative; a calm brought on by the knowledge that every spoonful will taste the same as the one before.
To be sure, sometimes you want a party in your mouth (as in this pumpkin eggplant tofu melange). And maybe it makes sense to pair these different ways of experiencing the flavors in the same meal--one dish where every bite tastes the same, one dish where every bite is different. Maybe this is common knowledge, but I just realized it.

I actually used Mexican zucchini, which tastes the same but is cuter (and cheaper at Jon's). You could use any summer squash here; the only real difference would be the color.

I was inspired by this recipe for zucchini soup, but I added a handful of things, including carrots, celery, coconut milk, and nutritional yeast. I also added a serrano chili, because it was so pretty (see below), but late in the game I decided to finish the soup with a drizzle of sriracha, and their combined powers were a bit too much.

Spicy Cream of Zucchini Soup 
(inspired by the kitchn)

2 TB olive oil
1 white onion, sliced
2 carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
5-8 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium zucchini, about 1 1/2 pounds (I used about 7 small ones)
4 c vegetable broth
1/2 c coconut milk
1-2 TB nutritional yeast (optional)
salt and pepper
sriracha and more coconut milk for drizzle

1. Heat the oil in a heavy 4-quart pot over medium heat. When it foams, add onions, celery, and carrots and cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two. Keep the heat low enough that the garlic doesn't brown; you want everything to sweat.
2. Add the zucchini and cook until soft. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer at a low heat for about 45 minutes.
3. Let cool slightly, then blend with an immersion blender until creamy, or transfer to a standing blender to puree. Be very careful if you use the latter; only fill the blender half full with each batch, and hold the lid down tightly with a towel.
4. Stir in coconut milk and nutritional yeast. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Like most soups, this is significantly better after a night in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld.
5. Serve hot, with a drizzle each of sriracha and coconut milk. Serves about 6.

1 comment:

Eileen said...

Aren't immersion blenders the best? I've barely used the actual blender since I got mine (exceptions: giant smoothies). So perfect for a delicious creamy soup like this one!