You know the dream where you’re minding your own business, reading the paper in your favorite chair and suddenly you see zucchini flowing into your home through the back door, the windows, down the chimney, through every possible orifice until you’re nearly buried by their weight, your nose clogged with their grassy green aroma?
Common Summer…Dream or Nightmare?
It’s a common summer dream and it can actually take many forms but the theme is always the same: how to manage the abundance of zucchini which is inevitable at this time of year, as zucchini plant go into high gear and produce, produce, produce. Every dinner guest seems to arrive with a bag of zucchini; growers selling at the market give “bon poids” in zucchini, which means twice as much as you want for the same price, and sometimes one imagines little zucchini walking down the street on their zucchini feet, wondering whom they should invade.
What to do with Such Abundance
So what is there to do with all of this squash, each of which is loveably shiny, tender, and beautiful? While the American answer might be zucchini bread, the French answer is soup. And this soup, from PLAT DU JOUR, is just one way to turn the summer zucchini abundance into a delicately delicious dish that will win over everyone, no matter how much zucchini they’ve recently been forced to eat.
I say forced, but the real truth about zucchini is that it’s under-appreciated. Its nutty flavor is seductive, no matter how it is prepared its flavor can reach a surprising depth of wonderfulness, and eaten raw it offers a wet and wonderful crunch.
Try this Soup!
Try this soup, then go to my other books and find the zucchini recipes hiding within. And join in for our LIVE COOKING CLASSES with Susan where you’ll get other ideas for managing the invasion of the zucchini.
Don’t despair! Retaliate with deliciousness!
ZUCCHINI SOUP WITH GINGER AND MINT – SOUPE AUX COURGETTES SURPRENANTE
- 2 pounds;1kg zucchini
- Coarse sea salt
- 1-1/2 cups;375ml heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon curry powder preferably Madras
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (from a 2-inch;5cm piece of fresh, peeled ginger)
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 7 large fresh mint leaves
- Wash the zucchini, and cut them in half, lengthwise. If there are any seeds, remove them. Coarsely chop the zucchini. Place the zucchini in a medium-sized saucepan and cover by 1-inch (2.5cm) with water. Season with salt and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat so the water is simmering, and cook until the zucchini is tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove the zucchini from the pan using a slotted spoon and transfer it to the work bowl of a food processor. Reserve the cooking liquid. Puree the zucchini, then add the cream, the curry, and the ginger and puree until thoroughly combined. If the soup is thicker than you like it, add up to ½ cup (125ml) of the cooking liquid. Taste for seasoning, then return to the saucepan where the zucchini cooked and heat the soup until it is just about, but not quite, boiling. Don’t boil it!
- While the soup is heating, scissor cut (chiffonade) the mint leaves.
- Taste the soup for seasoning, then divide it into 6 warmed soup bowls. Garnish each with mint and serve immediately.