simple, summer zucchini soup

simplicity resonates all through our house in the summertime. 

from effortless steps out to the porch and down into the herb garden with the kitchen scissors, to the whir of the ceiling fans, the easy pleasures of barefoot days bring in the way of zen.

cooking tends to be simple too . . . actually it's more like not-cooking / more just chopping or slicing and serving it up. greens, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, and peppers all put the garden right onto the plate.

this summer has sprouted baskets full of zucchini that came to me from my cousin's garden, where everything is cultivated from seed over the winter months–  and also from my sister-in-law's garden where the deer are fended off with twirling strands of tinseled fencing. we have yellow, green, and variegated types with soft, spongy flesh and a mild vegetable flavor. some of it readily yields to the mandolin blade for a bright salad tossed with chives. some of it makes a little sweet bite for breakfast baked into zucchini bread. and this silky zucchini soup recipe has added another simple dish to my zucchini repertoire.

chef grant achatz 
demonstrates here just how much more a dish can be with less. you'll guess you taste some cream and yet it contains nary a drop . . . where does that hint of sweetness come from? it's achieved with the caramelization of a little onion and garlic. be sure to use homemade vegetable stock made with plenty of carrots and celery to add to the depth of flavor that you'll taste in every balanced spoonful of this luscious summer soup.

  1. ingredients
  2. • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  3. • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  4. • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  5. • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  6. • kosher salt
  7. • freshly ground pepper
  8. • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  9. • 1 1/2 to 3 cups of vegetable stock or low-sodium broth
  10. julienned raw zucchini, for garnish
  11. directions
  12. 1. in a large saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until softened, 7 to 8 minutes. 
  13. 2. add the zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 10 minutes. 
  14. 3. add some of the stock and bring to a simmer; cook until the zucchini is very soft, about 10 minutes.
  15. 4. working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until it's silky-smooth / add more stock if necessary. 
  16. 5. return the soup to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper. serve it either hot or chilled, garnished with julienned zucchini.
  17. . . . . . . . . . . . . 
  18. chef grant achatz shared this recipe in Food and Wine Magazine, July 2014

1 comment:

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