Every year come August we are swimming in zucchini. We simply cannot keep up with the surplus, despite my best efforts: grilling and steaming, pasta sauces and salads, and so on. The motivation for this particular recipe came when I spotted a couple of those mega-sized zucchinis, the forgotten children of the veggie patch who’ve been left to their own devices a few days too long. Those specimens, while stunning to behold, lack the flavor of their cared-for, daintier siblings who are plucked at just the right moment. But it’s a shame to waste them.
This soup caught the eye of a friend of mine who has celiac disease. ‘Oh wow,’ she commented, ‘I think I could actually eat this!’ I sure hope she can! It would make me happy if this improvised recipe proved to be an option for those with gluten intolerance (which sounds like a real drag). If any of you poor souls try it and approve, please let me know.
5 medium zucchini (or 2 medium + 2 large ‘forgotten children’)
2 garlic cloves
3 Tbls olive oil
1 liter (4 cups) water
1 vegetable bouillon cube (or substitute half the water with a home-made veggie stock)
125 grams (1/2 cup) of sour cream or crème fraîche
1 bunch fresh cilantro
juice of 3 limes
your favorite hot pepper sauce (optional)
Rinse and chop the zucchini any old way and set aside. Peel the garlic and juice the limes. Heat the olive oil in a medium soup pot and add the garlic and zucchini. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until the zucchini are soft. Add the water and broth or bouillon and turn heat to low. Cover and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to cool for a while. Transfer the soup to a food processor and blend until creamy, then put the soup back in the pot or in another container. You could also use a hand-held ‘wand’ mixer and pulse the contents directly in the pot until you have the consistency you want. Add half the lime juice and stir well.
Rinse and chop the cilantro leaves. You can serve this soup at room temp or slightly warm, but I suggest serving it slightly chilled (not super cold). For each serving add a dollop of the cream, sprinkle with cilantro and drizzle with about a teaspoon of the remaining lime juice. A couple squirts of hot sauce add zing and color.
This recipe makes about 5 generous servings of soup.