Sometimes the best recipes come from experimenting with what you have on hand, that’s what led me to crafting my recipe for zucchini soup. I’ve been craving the homemade soups my mom used to make for our family. She used whatever we grew on our farm and since I had fresh vegetables from my garden and leftover, homemade chicken broth, I put my own spin on it. The result was a delicious taste of home.
I chose to use a mix of ghee and olive oil for this recipe. If you don’t have ghee at home and can’t find it in your area, you can use just olive oil or substitute the ghee for regular butter. But if you do have a good amount of butter on hand, I’d recommend clarifying it at home to make your own ghee. It’s a fun project and it’ll give your zucchini soup a hint of nuttiness.
There are several ingredients that I’ve added to this recipe in pairs: ghee and olive oil, ginger and turmeric, and cilantro and parsley. In essence these are the fats, warming spices, and garnish. While you could use only one ingredient from each of these pairings, I’ve found that the combinations provide a depth of flavor that’s more than the sum of its parts.
I think one of my favorite ways to connect with people is through food. This soup reminds me of my mother and learning to cook beside her. Soup was one of the first things she taught me to make. It was so simple, chop the ingredients, add them to a pot of broth and wait. I’d recommend soup as a starting point for anyone who wants to learn how to cook.
- Zucchini-Zucchini, also known as a courgette, is a summer squash which is harvested when their immature seeds are still soft and edible. It is mild in flavor and takes on the taste of what it’s cooked with, making it suitable for soups.
- Carrots-Carrots are a naturally sweet vegetable full of fiber, vitamin A, and beta-carotene.
Celery-Is an earthy vegetable with many benefits, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
- Garlic cloves-Garlic is a close relative of onions and it’s been used as a seasoning for thousands of years
- Onions-Onions are from the genus Allium and can taste sweet, sour, tangy, or earthy depending on what variety you use. For this recipe, you can use whichever you have on hand.
- Potatoes-Potatos are a root vegetable and a nightshade that were domesticated in what is now Peru approximately 10,000 years ago.
- Chicken broth-Broth tends to be thinner than stock but both would be delicious in this recipe.
- Ghee-Ghee is a clarified butter that is commonly used in Indian cooking. It has a nutty flavor that will vary based on the quality of the butter, the milk sourced, and the duration of boiling time during processing.
- Olive oil-Olive oil traditionally comes from the Mediterranean Basin and the taste varies widely depending on the quality, acid content, and the olives used.
- Black pepper-Black pepper has a spicy flavor, but it doesn’t come from capsaicin as it would in chili peppers. Instead, its flavor comes from the chemical piperine, which is why it tastes unique next to other spicy seasonings.
- Salt-Salt is a mineral made of sodium chloride, which is such a commonly used seasoning that it’s present in most Western recipes.
- Turmeric-Turmeric is a relative of ginger. It is the rhizomes of the plant that are used in cooking.
- Ginger-Ginger has been used in cooking and herbal medicine for 5,000 years. In fact, it was one of the first spices to be exported from Asia to Europe.
- Parmesan-Parmesan is a hard Italian cheese made from cows’ milk and aged at least 12 months. It has a nutty flavor that compliments soups and risottos.
- Cilantro-Cilantro, also known as coriander, Chinese parsley, or dhania, has a fresh, citrusy flavor, unless you have the genes that make it taste like soap. If that’s the case, feel free to omit.
- Parsley-Parsley is a widely cultivated herb with numerous varieties, each with their own flavor profile. It has a fresh, slightly earthy taste that works well as a go to garnish.
How can I make chicken broth at home?
I never buy chicken broth from the store. It’s easy to make at home and it uses up what would normally be wasted. Making it at home is also a great way to save money, especially if you buy whole chickens or bone-in chicken pieces in bulk.
Here’s what I do to prepare. Keep a container of choice of chicken bones and vegetable scraps in the freezer and add to them as you make more. Roasting chicken thighs for dinner? Put the bones in the container. Peeling carrots for another dish? Make sure they’re rinsed of dirt and add them to the container. Some vegetables turn a broth bitter, so I’d recommend starting with onion, carrot, and celery scraps as these provide the best flavor.
Once your freezer scraps have filled your container it’s time to make the broth. Dump the scraps into a large pot and fill it with enough water to submerge them. Add salt, pepper, and whatever other seasonings you like although the amount needed will vary based on how much water you use. Simmer for at least two hours, while occasionally checking to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Taste it to check that it’s seasoned to your preference and strain the broth into a heat proof container. Use within four days or freeze.
- To start off, preheat a large pot over medium heat and add the ghee and olive oil. Using these two together will add flavor and keep the ghee from burning, although that’s less likely than if you’d used regular butter.
- To the pot we’re going to add the onions and sauté them for 6 minutes.
- Then we’ll add the celery and sauté for 5 minutes.
- To this we’ll add the garlic and sauté for another 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
- Add the rest of the diced vegetables and chicken broth and set to a simmer for at least 25 minutes. We want all of the vegetables to soften and the best
- way to check that it’s ready is to poke a piece of potato. If the fork goes through with no resistance, the soup is ready.
- Set the soup aside to cool down and then use an immersion blender to purée the soup to your desired consistency. You may like it smooth, chunky, or you can skip this step if you dislike blended soup.
- Now it’s time to divide the soup into its serving bowls and finish it off with a sprinkle of cilantro, parsley and shaved parmesan. Enjoy!
Zucchini Soup Recipe
First, gather your ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium onions, diced.
- 6 celery stalks, diced.
- 5 garlic cloves, minced.
- 4 medium zucchini, diced.
- 2 carrots, diced.
- 4 medium potatoes, diced.
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped.
- 1/2 cup of parsley, chopped.
- 1/4 cup of shaved parmesan
- In a pot over medium heat add the ghee and olive oil.
- Add the onions and sauté for 6 minutes.
- Add the celery and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and sauté for another 5 minutes.
- Add the rest of the vegetables and chicken broth and cook until the potatoes are soft.
- Set aside to cool down and then use an immersion blender to purée the soup to your desired consistency.
- Once the soup has been plated, sprinkle it with cilantro, parsley and shaved parmesan
What to serve with zucchini soup?
Zucchini soup can be served on its own but I’d suggest dipping some crusty bread, such as a toasted sourdough or your favorite crackers in it. You could also top this soup with homemade croutons made from leftover sandwich bread or even cornbread, which I always make too much of around the holidays.