Simple Zucchini Soup
Zucchini! At first I was going make a seasonal joke: what to do with excess zucchini when you’ve grown sick of it. But then I realized that I love zucchini and I’m never sick of it! And since I’ve moved farther away from my grandparents I don’t get the same zucchini runoff from a prolific garden that I once used to. So if anyone out there has been forcing their crops on friends and neighbors, hit me up, I WILL BE YOUR FRIEND!
This recipe is super versatile, and is also Whole30, paleo, keto, and AIP friendly. Soups are one of my go-to items for weekly meal prep no matter the time of year, and this one comes together quickly, which is great when I don't want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen on a nice day.
Some things to think about....In place of olive oil you could easily use coconut oil, ghee, or even bacon fat (because you've been saving that, right?!). Onion could easily be replaced with leeks, shallots, or celery if you prefer, and if you aren’t into sweet potato you can substitute regular white potatoes, or any cooked white beans as those will also lend a creamy body to the soup when pureed. In place of veggie broth you could use bone broth for extra gut support, or coconut milk...but you get the idea. Have fun and mix it up!
This recipe makes about 4 quarts
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, diced, about 4 cups
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups chopped zucchini, the smaller the better, about the size of your thumbnail is perfect for this.
2 cups peeled and chopped white sweet potato, roughly the same size as the zucchini
6 cups veggie broth
1 bunch parsley
Small bunch kale, stems removed and discarded
Salt and pepper to taste
Sweat the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients and liquid. Once the onions are a bit translucent, add the sweet potatoes and a healthy pinch of salt. Stir to make sure everything is coated in the fat, then let this cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally, before adding the zucchini. Let the zucchini sweat for a few minutes as well, then add your liquid, and turn down the heat to simmer.
Simmer until you can easily break a chunk of sweet potato apart with the back of a spoon, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and throw the handful of kale into the pot to wilt a bit on top.
Let the soup cool down enough to blend. You can use a traditional blender, or immersion blender for this. If using a traditional blender, add a little of the parsley to the blender carafe each time you puree (you’ll need to do this in batches and will get best results if your blender is never more than ⅓ of the way full), if using an immersion blender give the parsley (stems and all) a rough chop and throw it into the pot just before blending.
Adding the kale and parsley at the end, without cooking, is what gives the soup a lovely green color and nice pop of flavor.
Once the soup is pureed, give it a taste and add salt and pepper as necessary. Divide the soup among serving bowls and garnish with a bit of herb jazz (recipe follows) if you like, or eat it straight up...or add some shredded chicken for a protein bump, or even some grated raw zucchini for a little texture….here I go again. I’ll stop.
If you happen to have leftovers, make sure cool this soup down in a shallow container. This will help it cool quickly, which helps to preserve it’s beautiful green color.
Bonus recipe for “Herb Jazz” garnish:
Any herbs from your garden. At LS I picked some sage, rosemary, thyme, chives, and oregano.
Olive oil to cover
Some lemon juice.
Finely chop all the herbs and put them into a container for storage. Pour in olive oil just to cover. You can keep this mix in the fridge and pull it out as needed. I like to mix it with a touch of lemon juice to garnish this soup, but you could also mix it with even more lemon juice or vinegar to make a quick vinaigrette, or throw a dallop into a stirfry for instant, easy, flavor. It keeps for a good while in the fridge as long as everything is submerged in the oil and is a great way to use up all the extra herbs in your garden. Note that some herbs like basil, mint, or tarragon might change color a bit, but will still be tasty. Also note that you could add some lemon zest, chopped garlic, chopped capers, or anchovies to this and it would also be delicious.