Many moons ago, I only knew how to do one thing with zucchini: fry it up with some butter, garlic and salt and nom it down as a side dish. This was the method I had seen my mum use and was the same method I used.
Then, I got antsy. I wanted to do something else beyond side dish zucchini.
I prowled the internet and came across a recipe over at The Kitchn, which I immediately saved and executed shortly thereafter. With squash costing next to nothing in the autumn months, you can believe that this is made over and over at my house, feeding us for a number of days while costing very little.
I followed the recipe line by line the first time I made it, but, as always, deviated quite a bit as time went on. I don’t even measure out proper quantities anymore, but prepare the soup mostly by eye and feel. I also prefer chunkier soups (a stew then, I guess), and have modified the recipe to include chunks of hearty vegetables, as well as meat, if you’re like me and can’t just leave an otherwise veggie only dish, vegetarian.
Having said that, here’s a fun, little zucchini story:
Zucchini Garlic Soup
adapted from The Kitchn
- 5-6 generous tbs butter/marg
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 8-9 large cloves of garlic, grated
- 8-10 medium zucchini
- chicken or veggie broth
Prep your zucchini by peeling and slicing it prior to melting your butter/margarine in a large pot, over medium heat. Once the butter/marg melts, add your sliced onion and garlic. I use a hand grater to grate the garlic into the pot once it reaches temperature.
Cook the onion and garlic on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. It is not uncommon for me to add some salt and pepper at this point, as the onion cooks down. Make sure to keep the heat low enough so that the garlic doesn’t brown/burn.
When your onions are soft, add the zucchini and cook until the zucchini start to soften or soften completely. I typically get pretty impatient and only half of the zucchini reaches the point of translucency before I move on to the next step.
Now, this is entirely optional. For the first time, I stood there, stirring the pot, thinking, “What if I made the soup a little more starchy?” and chopped up some potato to add in. In the end, it wasn’t a bad decision, and added a little more creaminess to the soup.
Whether you’re going with or without potatoes, this is when you’ll add your broth and bring everything to a simmer. I only add enough broth to cover the zucchini in the pot. If you add too much the soup practically becomes water, which I guess is what soup should be, but, seeing that I’m not a watery soup kind of gal, don’t over broth the zucchini and onion!
Allow everything to simmer on low for about 30-45 minutes (30 minutes if you’re adding extras – see below – or 45 minutes if you’re not). Add a little bit of ginger if you wish (I consider this optional) and/or curry spice if you’d like to make the zucchini soup seem a little more “exotic.”
Blend soup with an immersion blender, or transfer to a standing blender to puree. Be SUPER careful if you use a standing blender and only ever fill the blender half full with each batch. Believe me, I know. Soup has ended up all over my walls more than once. Oops.
Once smooth and creamy, sample the soup, and add more salt, pepper, curry/ginger if it needs it.
That’s it. That’s the zucchini soup.
However, I bet you’re sitting there, looking at that photo above going, “But, but, there’s carrots and weird brown things in there!”
Ah ha. That’s where my entire, “I can’t leave soups well enough alone and add chunky bits to them” from way up at the top of this post comes in.
Before starting the soup, I fry up some ground beef, or ground turkey, or ground chicken and set it aside. How much you fry up is up to you – how much meat you enjoy in your soup, and how much soup you’re making to begin with.
Once I start preparing the soup, in a separate pot, I boil chunks of carrot and potato just until they start getting soft. I don’t boil them to the point of being able to make mashed potatoes or anything – not usually, anyway.
I drain them, set them aside, and then blend the soup at around the 30 minute mark and add in the meat, potato and carrot, and allow everything to keep simmering for the additional 15 minutes. This is when I also start sampling and adding additional salt, pepper and curry/ginger if I so choose.Leave a comment