This season, when going to the farmers market, I see an abundance of summer squash. This is definitely the sign of the arrival of the summer season. There are indeed many different kinds of summer squash—from short and small ones to long zucchini, as well as yellow, pale green, and green. Small ones are absolutely beautiful to be roasted or sautéed. Zucchini is definitely the most famous and common of all the summer squash family, and it is amazingly versatile! We can sauté, roast, bake, shred to use as a binder for the cake or vegetable patties, and even eat raw. The wonderful thing is each way we cook with this vegetables, it will bring out different qualities of it and all of them are very delicious!!
Zucchini is known for being high in vitamin C as well as potassium. Also its high water content supports our body to hydrate in the summer season, at the same time, with its diuretic nature, it supports us to also detox and eliminate. When you have problems with a swollen body due to the high hydration of your cells, the summer gourd vegetables such as zucchini and cucumber will be a wonderful help. The vegetable is also known for its high anti-oxidants as well as the effect to lower the blood sugar.
Both soup and pasta sauce!
Zucchini soup is one of our favorite soups. It is creamy and flavorful, gentle and soothing. The ingredients are only zucchini, onion, and vegetable broth, with garlic as an option. Simple, and yet the flavor is beautifully complex. When I make this soup, I will make a larger amount, not only because we will enjoy the leftover soup, but also because this soup can become also a delicious pasta sauce! What I usually do is simmer the sautéed zucchini and onion (sometimes with garlic) with the vegetable broth, which would just nicely cover all the vegetables. In other words, not too much liquid. Once it is simmered, I leave it to be cooled down. Then I blend all of them together. In this way, the puréed soup is still rather thick. Thick enough so that it can be used for the pasta sauce. So, at this point, I will take some of the liquid aside for the pasta sauce in the future and put in the fridge or freezer. If you like the thick texture of the soup, you can just heat the remaining up in the pot, season, and enjoy. Otherwise, I would usually add some more water to thin the soup and cook it a little more with some added seasonings.
Mushroom is the golden addition
Eating the zucchini soup as it is would be absolutely delicious. However, when you add some sautéed mushroom, the soup becomes next level. It becomes richer in flavor and of course in aroma. Also, it is beautiful to sometimes have the ingredients you can bite in a creamy soup.
I would sauté the mushrooms first with the oil in a pot, then add the puréed zucchini soup into the pot and cook together. The key is to sauté the mushrooms well enough before letting them merge with the soup. In this way, the flavor of the mushrooms will be beautifully concentrated which will bring the richness into the overall flavor. Well sautéed mushrooms are also easier to digest. To sauté the mushrooms well, you might think that you need to use much oil, as the mushrooms tend to absorb the oil very quickly and become dry on the pan. Add some salt instead of oil! In this way, mushrooms will release their moisture which keeps them from not sticking on the hot surface.
Another option, and change maker—cashew sour cream at the end
Creamy soup and sour cream on the top is the classic combination, which is indeed very delicious. Even when you don’t make this soup with mushrooms, add some sour cream on top after serving. You will be very happy. I make cashew sour cream, using my homemade coconut-cashew yoghurt culture. First, soak the cashews in filtered water for a few hours. Then blend them with some fresh water to make cashew milk. Add a spoon of yoghurt and leave it on the counter for about 6 hours. The milk becomes a little bubbly and thicker in texture. When you taste it, you will know if it is ready, since it should have some sour probiotic taste. Delicious!
You can also make this sour cream with coconut milk. In that case, I would probably make the zucchini soup also with coconut oil rather than olive oil, when sautéing the vegetables.
Choice of Pasta
Although I am into whole grain eating, with some pasta dishes I still prefer to use the normal pasta from time to time, since the whole grain pasta or gluten-free pasta have their own unique consistency. But for this pasta, I go for whole wheat pasta, brown rice pasta, or any other kinds of gluten-free pasta. I like using the fusilli type of pasta, since it will catch the creamy sauce well. I cook the pasta to slightly harder than al dente, then put the noodles into the sauce pot and cook them together for a few minutes. In this way, the sauce and the pasta will merge together very beautifully.
- 400g Zucchini
- 150g Onion
- 1 Garlic clove
- 2 cupsVegetable broth
- 100g Mushroom
- Olive oil
- 1-2 Bay leaf
- Cashew sour cream (optional)
- Step 1 Cut onion, zucchini, and mushrooms into smaller and thinner pieces, and mince the garlic.
- Step 2 Heat the oil in the pot in medium heat while adding the garlic. Heat it until the aroma of the garlic is infused into the oil.
- Step 3 Put the cut onion into the pot and sauté until its color becomes half-translucent.
- Step 4 Add zucchini and sauté together until the vegetables become tender.
- Step 5 Pour in the vegetable broth and add bay leaf. Put the lid on and cook it with medium high heat.
- Step 6 Once it start to boil, bring the heat to low and simmer it for 20 minutes.
- Step 7 Turn off the heat and let it cool down for some hours prior to blend in the blender, if your container is made with plastic. If you have glass container or an immersion blender, you can go to the next procedure as soon as you wish.
- Step 8 Take out the bay leaf from the pot and blend all the ingredients together.
- Step 9 If you are using the blender, pour the blended soup back to the pot. If you wish, you can add some more water to adjust the soup to your desired thickness. Add some salt and heat up the soup to let the salt merge with the liquid.
- Step 10 Meanwhile, heat up the pan with some olive oil.
- Step 11 Add mushrooms into the pan and sauté. As the pan gets dry, add some salt (instead of more oil) to allow the mushrooms to release their moisture. Once they become beautifully brown and condensed, they are ready.
- Step 12 Add sautéed mushroom into the soup and simmer 5 more minutes.
- Step 13 Serve the soup and pour some cashew sour cream if desired.
- Step 14 (For Pasta Option) Cook the pasta 1-2 minutes shorter than the length that is written on the package instruction. Once the past is boiled, put the noodles into the soup pot and cook them together until the noodle becomes al dente.