Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Puréed Zucchini Soup With Curry

It is way too late in the year to have a zucchini recipe to share, but alas, the two-pound monster zucchini I found while cleaning up my gardens for the year thought otherwise. A two-pound zucchini is a formidable culinary undertaking, and the quickest way to put it all to good use was a hearty pot of soup. It starts with a classic base and subtle additions of curry and rice give it a special touch. Curry is added with a light hand so the soup does not have an assertive Indian flavor, but instead a subtle hint of warming spices in the background of each bite. Zucchini makes a surprisingly smooth soup on its own, but the addition of rice gives it additional body and silkiness.

This soup was originally intended to be a spring dish, but I don't think it would be a stretch to use this same recipe with a hearty winter squash as well. With my first CSA pick up just over a week away, I may be back to try out that hypothesis very soon.

Puréed Zucchini Soup With Curry
adapted from the New York Times
makes 4 to 6 servings

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds zucchini, diced (about 7 cups diced)
2 teaspoons curry powder
6 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
1/4 cup brown basmati rice
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper (I like a lot of it in this soup)
Pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until it is tender, about 5 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt, the garlic and the zucchini and stir for about a minute, until the garlic smells fragrant. Add the curry powder, stir together, and add the stock or water, the rice and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt.

2. Purée the soup with an immersion blender or a food mill or in batches in a blender, taking care to remove the lid or take out the center insert and to cover with a towel to avoid hot splashes. Return to the pot, heat through, add pepper and cayenne to taste and stir in the lemon juice.

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