… I know… I knOW… I KNOW!!! I haven’t blogged in quite some time. I am always amazed how quickly weeks seem to fly by. And it certainly isn’t that I haven’t thought about food, eaten all the food, or felt terrible guilt that I haven’t been on the blog – because I HAVE DONE ALL OF THOSE THINGS.
But alas – I am back! I’ve missed being in the kitchen, coming up with some new ideas and testing dishes. Today marked that return to the #REALKITCHENLYFE when I noticed there were four beautiful zucchini sitting in my fridge looking neglected. After buying just a few too many zucch’s last week, they greeted me every day when I opened the fridge, just waiting to be used in some beautiful delicious dish. This morning, they started looking like they were giving up and giving in. But today was their day to shine!
Not content with baking a bread where their flavor would somewhat disintegrate, and definitely not wanting to relegate them to a deep fry with all the accompanied guilt, I decided to make them central in a dish by making a light sopita – Spanish for ‘little soup.’ This definitely wasn’t going to be a thick or heavy stew because we’re in the middle of summer in New Jersey, which means temperatures in the 80s to 90s with humidity. So, you know, really pleasant…
And so, I introduce my Sopita de Calabaza, or Cream of Zucchini! I combined some Italian flavors with my good ol’ DNA from Mexico. Dial up or down the spiciness with more or fewer jalapeños, and you can also make this vegetarian by substituting the chicken broth with veggie broth.
- 3-4 medium zucchini
- 1 medium onion
- 1-2 jalapeños (0-1 for fewer spice, or 2+ for super spicy)
- 3 garlic cloves
- handful of fresh thyme
- 1 TB dry basil
- 1 TB dry oregano
- 32 oz. low sodium chicken broth
- 3 TB sour cream or greek yogurt (full fat or 2% is best)
- 1 ripe avocado
- salt & pepper to taste
- Extra ‘umph toppings: extra virgin olive oil, shredded parmesan cheese, and pistachios or pine nuts
- Chop zucchini and onion into 2″ pieces, and add to a large pot. (Leave the skin on the zucchini.)
- Rough cut jalapeño and add to pot. For spicier soup, leave the seeds in the jalapeño(s). For less spicy, de-seed the jalapeño(s).
- Crush your garlic cloves, and add to pot along with the thyme, basil and oregano.
- Add chicken stock to all ingredients, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once it has come to a boil, reduce the heat to low-medium and simmer for 25 minutes. You’ll know when the soup is done once you can pierce through a zucchini piece easily. Don’t let the zucchini cook too much where it has turned to mush!
- Add the avocado and sour cream (or greek yogurt) into the soup.
- Use either an immersion blender stick and cream the soup pieces together, or throw the soup into a blender and liquify the mixture until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve in a bowl and top with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and 2 TB shredded parmesan. Finish off with a few rough chopped pistachios or a few pine nuts.
The beauty of this recipe is that it is so versatile AND SO DARN EASY. Add fresh herbs at the end, or instead of sour cream or greek yogurt, substitute in a half cup of heavy cream for the ultimate luscious texture. But overall, this is a light yet hearty and healthy soup any day of the week.