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April 17, 2017This is about... Quick and CREAMY ZUCCHINI SOUP ---YUM!
FOR ME, EVERY HOLIDAY and I mean every holiday, IS AN EXCUSE TO go off course and EAT ANYTHING I WANT. Whatever celebratory occasion is up next--Easter this time around--I feel like I've been given the green light to eat the cake, cookies, ice cream, buttery, and fried, salty stuff, that I normally try to limit on the non-holidays. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this practice. But that doesn’t justify me doing it—does it? EVEN THOUGH I TRY TO BE GOOD there’s so much temptation surrounding me, that I usually give in to some of it, if I don’t completely fall off the cliff. Once the day is over though, and I’m living in the real food world again, I TRY TO JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON AS FAST AS I CAN. I know from years of experience, that if I explain away the leftovers, as “ONCE THEY'RE GONE, I'M DONE!” that that just leads me down A SLIPPERY SLOPE STRAIGHT INTO A BAG OF FRITOS and beyond. So, I try my best to send everyone home with care packages. That way the pull of the mashed potatoes or mac and cheese, the chocolate cake or lemon cream pie is gone. After the fridge is emptied, it’s time to start anew. I USUALLY BALANCE OFF THAT "HAPPY MEAL" WITH SOMETHING GREEN THE NEXT DAY. This zucchini soup is a "pure soup." I’ve shared the butternut squash version with you in an earlier post. This one is just as QUICK AND EASY. Adding some cumin, makes up for the “blank canvas” flavor of the zucchini. I like adding just a little butter and cream too, which won’t drag you too far off the straight and narrow. Feel free to leave them out if you’re being really good. Unfortunately, I CAN'T WAIT for the next holiday. But I know I can get back in the swing of things with a few tasty soups like this one. LESSONS Learned: 1. Find small or medium sized zucchini. If you have a garden, this a great way to use up some of the extra, but don’t use the ones that have grown to the size of a baseball bat—too stringy and too many tough seeds. 2. Smokey cumin is what makes this soup so tasty. Start with the amount I suggest, and if you like, from there, up the amount by ¼ teaspoon increments. 3. You can omit the butter and just use oil for sautéing the vegetables. And you can omit the cream as well at the end. But it’s just small amounts of each and I think they are worthy additions.
QUICK AND CREAMY ZUCCHINI SOUP
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, about 4 cups chopped
a pinch of Kosher salt
3-4 medium zucchini, about 6 cups, quartered lengthwise and sliced in 1/2 inch pieces
1 quart low sodium or unsalted chicken (or vegetable stock)
1 ½ teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt or to taste
2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
spiralized zucchini, roasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds for crunch, a light drizzle of heavy cream.
Make the soup:
In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the butter and the oil until the butter is melted. Add the onions with the pinch of salt and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin and salt and cook for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and stock, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook until the zucchini is completely softened, about 15-18 minutes.
In a blender, in batches, blend the soup until very smooth and creamy. Alternatively, you could leave some of it chunky for texture. Return all of the soup to the pot and stir in the cream, if desired. Taste to see if you want to add more salt. This freezes well, or will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Makes 6 servings.