Any summer squash can act as the base for a fine puréed soup, but I like the way the colors and textures of the ingredients stand out in this chunky zucchini soup recipe. Squash blossom ribbons add bright golden color. Serve this soup as a light meal with salad, or as a first course before dinner.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium-large onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
Three 6- to 7-inch-long zucchini, cut into small chunks (about 3 cups)
Dash of salt
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp whole, fresh tarragon leaves
Freshly ground pepper
4 squash blossoms
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until fragrant, then add the onions and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir onions frequently for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and salt, cover and sweat for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and nutmeg, stir and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft but have kept their shape. While the soup is cooking, cut off the bottom half-inch of each squash blossom, removing the reproductive parts. Slice the petals lengthwise into quarter-inch-wide strips.
Stir in the cream, tarragon and pepper. Taste and add salt if needed. Return to a simmer, then remove the pan from the heat. Add the blossoms, reserving some of them for garnishing. Stir, then ladle the soup into shallow bowls, distributing the reserved flowers over the top.
Serve right away.
Need more delicious ways to cook squash? See How to Grow and Cook Summer Squash for a list of recipes and tips.
Barbara Damrosch farms with her husband, Eliot Coleman, at their Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine. She is the author of The Garden Primer and, with Coleman, of The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook.