Thursday, June 12, 2008

summer soups — no. 1

the past several days, where i live, have been miserable. with the humidity factored in, we reached 40 C — conditions completely unbearable and leaving one feel as though s/he was about to melt. being on an island, surrounded by water, only makes things worse during our summer heat waves. for all you people who think canada doesn't get hot, think again! the only antidote for horrendous weather like this is cold food. iced coffee, popsicles and ice cream, now there's a good diet!

on the more healthy end of things, the following is a light soup, perfect for the warmer weather of the now-upon-us summer days. this pleasingly green hued purée of zucchini and leek can be served either hot or cold. excuse the air bubbles created by the blender while puréeing in the picture below, the weather was too hot to wait for them to dissipate!

cream of zucchini and leek soup

serves ~ 6 to 8 people


4 small zucchini (~ 5 to 6 inches)
1 leek (or medium onion)
1 small potato - floury kind, not waxy
1/2 apple, peeled and cubed *optional
2 large cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp coriander powder, heaped
1/4 tsp dill seeds
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
salt to taste (depends on your stock)
1/2 tsp sugar

2 to 3 tbsp regular olive oil

4 c stock (chicken or vegetable) or 4 c water + 2 tbsp stock powder


1 c milk, cream or soymilk -- or more stock
chopped herbs of your choice: italian parsley, coriander or dill


vegetable prep:

cut ends off zucchini, keeping the peel on. cut the zucchini lengthwise and then again in half to equal for pieces. cut these pieces into small (1/2 inch) chunks.

clean the leek well and then slice it in 1/8 inch pieces. use the white and light green portion only and discard the dark green part. if using onion, cut it into thin slices.

peel the potato and cut to the same size as the zucchini pieces. if using, cut the peeled apple to the same size. mince the garlic

cooking part:

heat a soup pot on medium heat and add 2 - 3 tbsp of the olive oil. add the zucchini potatoes & apple and sauté for 10 minutes. keep stirring to prevent sticking.

after 10 minutes of cooking, add the leek and garlic. add the pepper, coriander powder, and dill seeds.

sauté for another 8 minutes or so.

add the stock, or water and stock powder. bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium low. cook uncovered for 20 minutes. stir as necessary.

taste the mixture and add salt and sugar as necessary. i can't really say how much as it depends on what your stock is like.

let cool for about 15 minutes and then place in batches in a blender and purée until smooth (i've tried this before with an electric hand (wand style) blender and the consistency is not fine enough).

taste again and further adjust, if needed. at this point, you can add the 1 cup of milk or cream or soymilk if you like a finer texture. you can thin it with a bit more stock also.

garnish with chopped herbs. dill is a good choice.



Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, with that humidity and heat, I'd be dead! Here, the weather is very changing (lots of showers), fresh (18°-21°C) and not very sunny...

That soup looks delicious!



sari said...

what a nice soup! another one for my recipe collection know there'll be a certain young man who's gonna hate you!!!!
no dill seeds available here, only fresh or dried dill "leaves", how to substitute?
your local heatwave seems to have passed away, start baking again! :)

Jean-Michel said...

I love those soups!
From gazpacho to cold minestrone, I couls spend the whole summer on them...


Jeena said...

This looks delicious I love the green colour. Leeks give a wonderful flavour to soups. :-)

burekaboy — said...

rosa - i think i did die ;o wish we had your weather! ours is always unpredictable. thanks for the comment.

sar - vegetables are good for him. dill seeds don't taste like dill at all. the closest thing is caraway; you can just omit them altogether or add about 1/8 tsp of caraway.

jm - me, too :) i like cold soups all summer especially in our oppressive heat.

hi jeena - thanks! i like the colour a lot, also. the leeks are less 'harsh' than onion but either work here. i still still stick with leeks though. thanks for your visit & comment.

TopChamp said...

that's a pretty green colour. I love food.

burekaboy — said...

tc - same here. i do like the colour a lot also. cool & calming, sort of....