Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lock your doors, zucchini season is here



A few years ago, I borrowed a copy of Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" from my friend Jeanne. I recall there being an amusing anecdote in it suggesting that the only time rural Southerners locked their doors was in the summer, at the height of zucchini season. Well. Though DC is a Southern town, I don't think I am in any danger of being reverse burgled with squashes. However, between friends at Arcadia and Walker Jones farms I do seem to have come into quite a lot of courgettes.
I love zucchini. Chef Allison over at DC Central Kitchen made a lovely "zucchini ribbons with lemon juice and mint" dish for a reception I volunteered at last week that I mean to replicate soon. A small crowd enjoyed some slightly charred baby zucchini at Henry's barbecue yesterday. I am still perfecting the chocolate zucchini cake recipe -- it's coming, I promise -- which I plan to bring to a dinner party next weekend. Tonight I thought I'd change things up a bit and fiddle with a zucchini soup recipe.
Now, you might think hot soup is the last thing one would want in July, but it gets rather cold in the basement apartment when the air conditioning is cranked to combat the summer heat upstairs, so a steaming bowl of soup was actually rather welcome this evening -- a satisfying but not overly heavy bowl of creamy goodness and a slab of sourdough were a nice calm meal after all of the excitement of this afternoon's barbecue and viewing of the FIFA women's final. Here's how you might whip up a batch yourself. (And incidentally, it's also good cold.)
Curried Zucchini Soup
Saute 2 small onions + 5-6 cloves of garlic in 1 tsp olive oil in a large pot on low for 5 minutes.
Chop 3-4 zucchini into thick coin slices -- it works out to, I dunno, 4 cups' worth -- and add to pot.
Sprinkle in some curry powder and cayenne powder (1/4-1/2 tsp each, depending on how spicy you like it) + a pinch or two of salt, stir, and turn the heat up to medium. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, being sure zucchini is coated with spices.
Add in 5-6 cups of good veggie stock -- enough to cover zucchini -- then simmer for 20 minutes, until zucchini is soft.
Remove soup from the stovetop and puree in batches using a blender or food processor. Or use an immersion blender directly in the pot (as I did with one Mike loaned me, pictured above -- I need one of these for myself, I'm hooked). Then stir in 1-2 TBSP plain sour cream or whipping cream. (Yes, whipping cream. Not that stuff that comes in an aerosol can, I mean the good stuff.)
Serve in bowls with a couple grinds of black pepper and a slab of toasted sourdough bread. Yum.
My oh my, with all of this beautiful produce around, if I'm not careful this may turn into an all out cooking blog. Maybe it's time to get serious about a bikeable feast cookbook....

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

2 comments:

  1. Here's another recipe you should try for Summer Squash Pie. And be sure to use the pie crust recipe they suggest, you won't be sorry!

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Aunt-Marians-Summer-Squash-Custard-Pie-361910

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmmm, an interesting looking recipe. I'll have to get myself some more squash and give it a try. Thanks, Schmeg! :)

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