ZUPPA DI ZUCCHINE
Zucchini is one of my favorite summer vegetables. Shaved raw in a salad with pecorino, mint and a simple lemon vinaigrette; sautéed with garlic and topped with parmesan and mint; summer squash gratin with basil, garlic, and rosemary; grilled and served in an antipasto platter with a drizzle of good balsamic; stuffed with lamb, rice, pine nuts, and persian spices; baked into a moist and tender zucchini bread; or simply made into a delicious summer soup. It’s the the one seasonal vegetable my family always harvested in abundance! The possibilities with Zucchinis are endless!
Here is a recipe adapted from Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray’s Italian Country Cookbook, the first cookbook from Michelin star restaurant River Cafe in London. I make this recipe all summer long. Its simply delightful served hot or cold. Omit the dairy and replace with half of an avocado, replace the chicken stock with water or vegetable stock to make a simply divine vegan soup!
- 2 1/4 lb. medium zucchini, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
- 1/2 cup double cream, or 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1 small bunch basil, chopped
- 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 heaped cup parmesan, freshly grated or (omit if not using dairy)
Cut the zucchini lengthwise into quarters, then into 2.5cm pieces. Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan and cook the garlic and zucchini slowly for approximately 25 minutes, until the zucchini are brown and very soft. Add salt, pepper and stock, simmer for another few minutes. Remove from the stove.
Put three quarters of the zucchini in a food processor and puree.
Return to pan, and then add the cream (or avocado, if using) basil, parmesan and parsley.
Garnish with baby basil leaves or diced avocado if replacing dairy.
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Photography by Cody Rasmussen