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
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
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.