by Nate Rafn
Zucchini is not always held in high regard among picky eaters. The flavor of this green-skinned summer squash is often described as dull, and the texture as mushy. Some people will tolerate it, while others simply refuse to eat it altogether.
However, those who fully appreciate the qualities of zucchini will enjoy it in many delicious forms, including quick-breads, muffins, pancakes, or as an addition to stir-fries, soups, casseroles, pasta, quiches, or omelets.
Some of the best recipes involving zucchini are ones that put it in the starring role. A creamy blended soup is a good example. The recipe listed below uses lots of zucchini with a few supporting ingredients to create a satisfying, savory taste. This is a great way to transform what some consider to be a bland vegetable into a rich and silky soup.
What to look for: Locally grown zucchini is typically available from July through September, and occasionally into October. For most culinary purposes, small zucchini is best. Fruits should be 6-10 inches in length, with firm skin, and about half an inch of stem still attached to the squash. Store zucchini in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. The best sources for zucchini are backyard gardens and local farmers' markets.
Zucchini and Cream Soup - serves 8-10
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup white flour
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 lbs. young zucchini, sliced thin
4-6 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp. dill
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Using a large soup pot, sauté the onion, celery, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. When they begin to soften and sweat, stir in the white flour until thoroughly mixed. Add the zucchini pieces. Pour the dry white wine and cream into the pot, along with enough chicken stock to cover the vegetables. Let the pot simmer until the zucchini is very tender, about 10-20 minutes. Next add the dill and white wine vinegar.
Puree the soup in small batches using a blender. Find another large pot to pour the finished soup into. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Use additional chicken stock if the soup is too thick. Serve and enjoy.
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