Saturday, 4 October 2014

Creamed Zucchini Soup

The weather has really turned today in the UK and I am nursing my hubby who has a little 'man flu". What better time to whip up a little hearty soup, served with a country fresh loaf to get rid of the sniffles.

Zucchini is one of those vegetables that never seems to make it to centre stage ... until now.  This soup is really great hot or cold and is low in calories approx. 15 calories per 100g,  It also has healthy levels of folate for us ladies, potassium and vitamin A. 

Zucchini or courgette, is a summer squash and in a culinary context is treated as a vegetable and is usually presented in a savoury dish or accompaniment, however botanically, it is a fruit.

The piece de resistance to this soup is the floating fresh herb crostini.  You do need to use fresh herbs and just before serving, float the crostini on top of the soup. Any herbs can be used,  I really like parsley, tarragon and chives.  

This is suitable for 4 foodie lovers

1 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 zucchini, sliced
4 cups chicken stock (home-made pref.)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp butter
4 tbsp cream

Heat oil in a pot over high heat

Add onions, garlic and saute for 4 min
Add zucchini, stock. salt and paprika and bring to the boil
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 min until zucchini is very tender
Stand for 5 minutes
Whizz in a blender until smooth
Add butter and cream and stir through
Keep warm until serving

Bread and herbs:
8 slices french bread (inch thick sliced)
Cooking spray
1 clove garlic, halved
1/2 cup fresh parsley, rough chop
1/1/2 tbsp fresh tarragon, rough chop
1/1/2 tbsp chives, chopped
2 tsp Parmesan, grated
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Pinch salt
Pinch pepper

Preheat oven to 200'C
Place bread, single layer on a baking sheet
Coat bread with cooking spray and bake for 5 min
Rub bread with pieces of cut garlic
Mix parsley, tarragon, chives and Parmesan with 1 tsp oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper

Spread herb mix over slices of bread and float on top of each bowl of soup.  Serve immediately