Okay, Ms. LV Anderson over at Slate Magazine doesn’t like zucchini. She describes them as bland and watery, and only edible when completely unrecognizable. I will agree with her assertion that they can at times become “overwhelmingly, frighteningly prolific.”
I happen to like the flavor of zucchini, and its adaptability to a variety of dishes. We grill, fry, shred, and bake zucchini; eating them as a vegetable when they are round, shredded, in ribbons and sticks. We bake bread, cakes and brownies. Maybe their overpopulation late in the summer has forced such creativity, but Ms. Anderson’s soup of disrespect was not something I had considered for zucchini before, so I had to try it. I’ve been carrying this recipe around in my briefcase since June when it was first posted, so today was the day!
True to nature, I didn’t have some of the ingredients and didn’t have enough zucchini to make her full batch, so here is my version. I also didn’t have some of the equipment she called for, so had to improvise on technique as well.
Preheat oven to 425°.
- 1 large head of garlic (cloves separated and peeled)
- 1.5 lbs. zucchini, cut into 1″ chunks Combine in 11″ x 18″ baking pan and
- 1/2 onion, cut into 1″ chunks toss to evenly coat veggies.
- 2 T olive oil
- salt and black pepper
Roast, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden brown (about 45 minutes). At this point the roasted garlic smell is to die for!
- 4 c. chicken stock
Remove roasted vegetables from baking pan to large soup pot. Add stock and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- 2 T. cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 t. minced garlic Combine in small bowl
- 1 t. fines herbs
Instead of cream cheese, Ms. Anderson used Boursin Herb and Garlic Gournay Cheese, but I had cream cheese left over from a bagel I had bought in a coffee shop last week, and this seemed like a good way to use it. Besides, I did not feel a special trip to the store to buy an expensive cheese for one meal was on my itinerary for today…
At this point, the recipe instructs you to turn off the heat, add half the Boursin to the soup and puree in the pot with an immersion blender. The immersion blender being the equipment I lack, I removed the roasted vegetables from the pot to my food processor, pureed, then added 1/2 my cream cheese mixture and pulsed until thoroughly blended. At this point it looked like potato soup with green bits. I added the vegetable puree back to the pot with chicken stock, and combined with a whisk.
Garnish the soup with the remaining cream cheese mixture. My daughter wasn’t going to let me add anything to her soup until she tasted and approved it, but she did. I served the soup with a garlic and herb flatbread from Frugal Feeding.