Spring and the local farmer’s market were the inspiration for Zucchini Potato Soup, a riff on traditional Vichssoise using predominately fresh zucchini as the primary ingredient. Rich without the addition of any dairy product whatsoever, Zucchini Potato Soup can be served both hot or chilled.
The delightfully satisfying soup couldn’t be easier to prepare, chopping the ingredients is the most difficult part. Actually, as long as the vegetables are chopped with attention to fairly uniform sizes, there is no need to be especially careful with this step as the immersion blender will finish the soup off. The flavor base is derived from shallots which impart just the right balance to the flavor of the zucchini. Fresh water provides the liquid needed to transform these vegetables into a veloute as it does not at all comprise the essential flavor of the vegetables as some vegetable stocks might.
Use either an immersion blender to puree the cooked vegetables immediately or wait until the contents of the pan cools down to do so with a blender. A last minute squeeze of fresh lemon juice heightens the flavors of the soup adding just the right balance of acidity. The veloute may be served at once or refrigerated to allow the flavors to further deepen and serve in the coming days.
Zucchini Potato Soup can be served in shot glasses and passed as an hor d’oeurve with chilled spumante. It is elegant in it’s simplicity while being the ideal first course for friends with dairy restrictions.
- 1 medium sized sweet or white onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 2 peeled cloves of garlic, crushed
- 5 or 6 small zucchini, washed, trimmed and chopped
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon
- Fresh water, start with 5 cups
- Fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black or white pepper, depending upon your preference
- Fresh minced chives
- Add the extra virgin olive oil to a large stock pot and heat over a medium flame. Once the oil is hot add the chopped onion, shallot and garlic stirring often to soften, not brown. Take your time with this step as you are preparing the flavor base for the soup.
- Add the chopped potato, season with salt and saute for an additional 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the zucchini and continue to cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, stirring intermittently and seasoning the soup with salt and freshly ground pepper as needed.
- Once the vegetables have had the opportunity to slightly soften and merge in terms of absorbing flavor, pour the 5 cups of fresh water into the pot. Turn the flame to medium high and bring the contents to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, partially cover the pot and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft. If using an immersion blender you may emulsify the vegetables while hot until the contents become a velvety soup. When using a blender, wait until the contents have completely cooled before transferring. If the soup seems to be a bit too thick for your liking, add a bit more water, starting with ½ cup.
- The soup may be serve hot or chilled with a garnish of freshly chopped chives.