What better way to use the most prolific vegetable of summer than to puree a whole lot of it into a soup? This Zucchini Soup has great body simply from the sheer amount of zucchini, no cream or starchy thickeners in sight. So it's both healthy (lots of vegetables) and efficient (as in using up all that zucchini gardeners tend to have on hand). This soup makes a nice lunch, a tasty start to a larger dinner, or the centerpiece to a light supper with crusty bread and a big summer or early fall salad served alongside.
If you also happen to have zucchini blossoms kicking around, they make a lovely garnish.
Note: This soup freezes beautifully, so feel free to make a double or triple batch and freeze any leftovers to enjoy when zucchini isn't in season anymore. It may be difficult to believe now, but you'll miss it!
- Trim, halve, peel, and chop the onion. Since the soup gets pureed, there's no need to be too precise about the chopping.
- Heat a medium pot over medium-high heat and add the oil or butter. When the fat is hot, add the chopped onion and the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and tender, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, trim and chop the zucchini. Add the zucchini and broth to the onion. Raise the heat to bring to everything to a boil, and then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook, stirring occasionally to keep things from settling too much, until the zucchini is very tender, about 15 minutes.
- If you have a hand-held immersion blender, this is a great time to pull it out and put it to use. Whirl the soup until it's extremely smooth. Seriously. Whirl it for about twice as long as it seems you should and you'll end up with a much smoother, "creamier" soup. No hand-held immersion blender? Whirl the soup in a blender or food processor until very smooth (at least 1 minute per batch to make sure it's well and truly puréed); be sure work in batches and to hold a kitchen towel over the top of the blender or processor (hot soup tends to splatter out a bit); return the pureed soup to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste (note that soup often requires a lot of salt to acquire good flavor, just think of all that water in there!).
- Serve the soup hot with a sprinkle of pepper and/or nutmeg, if you like.
Want it still creamier in texture? Go ahead and add actual heavy cream, simply stir it in and heat over low heat until the soup is heated through again before serving. Or, just dollop a spoonful of sour cream or crème fraîche onto each bowlful.