The zucchini just keeps coming and like many of you, I'm still trying to create delicious and inspired ways to use it up. That being said, I think I've had enough - and with this zucchini soup recipe I'm going to close the door on our prolific friends until next year. At its core this is a light-and-healthy, straight-forward zucchini soup with a couple little twists and tricks to make it ever-so-slightly special and unique.
Bumping up the color: I think we can all agree, pale and watery zucchini flesh isn't much to look at - to boost the color and visual appeal here I use fresh spinach as my secret weapon. By giving spinach a supporting role I was able to create a vibrant cilantro-flecked zucchini soup in an eye-popping shade of green with a nicely boosted nutritional profile.
Keeping it healthy: I knew I wanted a relatively smooth, pureed soup here. I was after a creamy consistency but without relying on copious amounts of heavy cream if possible. I ended up using potato in the soup base which gives the soup a bit of heft and thickness, something people often mistake for a fully cream-based soup. I might finish a soup like this with a tiny splash of cream, or a dollop of plain yogurt instead. Delicious either way.
The bulk of the time commitment here is in the chopping. Beyond that the soup only takes about 10-15 minutes once the ingredients start hitting the pot.
Spinach and Zucchini Soup Recipe
I prefer to use a light tasting vegetable stock here, nothing too overpowering. If you'd like a richer version of this soup feel free to finish the soup with a splash of cream, or a dollop of creme fraiche or plain yogurt in place of the finishing drizzle of olive oil.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
big pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups potatoes (2 medium) cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 1/2 cups zucchini (2 medium), loosely chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
4 cups fresh spinach leaves, loosely packed
1 cup cilantro, loosely chopped
In a large, thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot (but not smoking) add the garlic and onions and saute for a few minutes along with pinch of salt - just until they soften up a bit. Stir in the potatoes and zucchini. Add the stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are soft throughout, roughly 10-15 minutes.
Stir in the spinach, and wait for it to wilt, just ten seconds or so. Now stir in the cilantro. Puree with a hand blender until smooth. Whisk in a big squeeze of lemon juice. Now taste, and add more salt if needed. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve.
Serves about 6.