Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Chilled Zucchini Soup




Summer inevitably brings the zucchini challenge. It's running through my mind, the garden, the kitchen and a host of baskets. Squashes abound, hiding under prickly leaves and stems. The handouts continue as I meander through a maze of zucchini recipes. To beat the heat I envisage a cold soup. Some onion and garlic is quickly sauteed with chunks of zucchini and a few choice spices. Stewed for minutes and then pureed, the soup is diluted with milk and cream, then stashed in the fridge to cool off. Poured into bowls, it is topped off with crisp brown squash blossoms.....ideal croutons!!! 


CHILLED ZUCCHINI SOUP
Serves 4


2 medium Zucchini
1 tablespoon Olive Oil 
1 large Onion
2 Garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon Curry Powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
1/4 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
1/4 cup Milk
1/4 cup Cream
5-6 Squash Blossoms (optional)


Cut zucchini and onions into 1/2 inch chunks.

Roughly chop garlic.

Heat olive oil in a deep saucepan.

Add onions and garlic. Sweat onions for a few minutes over high heat.

Drop zucchini chunks into onions.

Add curry powder and seasonings. Saute for a few minutes.




Pour 1 cup water to veggies and bring to a slow boil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove cover, raise heat. Let most of the water evaporate.

Scrape zucchini into a blender and whiz  for 30 seconds. 

Add milk to zucchini and blend again for a minute till soup is smooth.

Pour contents into a container.

Whisk in cream and refrigerate till cool.

Wash and clean squash blossoms. Remove the inner stamens. Slice each blossom vertically into 4-5 segments.

Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a nonstick pan.

Add squash blossom segments to hot oil and saute till crisp and golden brown.

Pour soup into bowls. 

Top with squash blossom croutons and enjoy.






NOTES

This soup can be easily served hot or cold. Both versions are very satisfying.

Half & half can be used in place of milk and cream. Use whole or 2% milk if you can.

The squash blossom croutons are optional but quite delicious. If you do have access to them, do use them as this adds another dimension to the chilled soup. If not, bread croutons add a nice crunch.





Besides being inundated with squashes and hot humid days, the desire to languish in cool rooms is omnipresent. The idea of a chilled wine and cold food is a soothing balm. And they are enjoyed by all.