There are many versions of zucchini soup, most of them served cold. I prefer hot soups, especially after a summer filled with cold foods. I also avoid adding cream to soups when I can, even though sour cream or yogurt are fairly traditional in a zucchini soup. I find that even yogurt mellows, almost overpowers, the taste of the squash.
This soup is rich with the flavors of roasted zucchini and sweet onion. It is finished with grated Parmesan cheese, which adds depth. To make the soup vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth or water for the chicken broth; you might want to add extra Parmesan to up the flavor.
If you're serving guests or just trying to impress your family, garnish the soup with shreds of basil and a shaving of Parmesan.
Make Ahead: The soup can be cooled, covered and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance.
Servings: 6 - 8
Yield: Makes 6 cups (6 to 8 servings )
- 2 pounds zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Maui, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken broth (may substitute vegetable broth)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus a few shavings for optional garnish
- A handful of basil leaves, rolled tightly, then cut into thin strips (chiffonade)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Have a large roasting pan at hand.
Combine the zucchini, onion, oil as needed and salt and pepper to taste in the pan; toss to coat the vegetables evenly, and spread them in a single layer. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, turning once, until the vegetables have browned on at least one side and are tender. Cover with aluminum foil and let sit for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the broth to a boil in a medium pot over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and add the roasted vegetables. Cook for 10 minutes, adjusting the heat to keep the liquid just below a boil.
Use an immersion (stick) blender or a blender to create a slightly chunky soup. If you use a regular blender, you will need to do that in batches; remove the center knob in the lid, placing a dish towel over the opening to allow steam to escape; return the blended soup to the pot.
Add 2 tablespoons of the cheese; taste, and add cheese or pepper as needed. Serve warm with a garnish of basil or shaved Parmesan, if desired; or for optimum flavor, refrigerate for no more than 2 days.
From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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