Chilled Avocado-Zucchini Soup

Avocado-Zucchini-Soup3Against the advice of my” best people,” I’m going ahead with this post on a “girly” soup.

Only because it’s delicious and refreshing, both of which led me to eat the whole thing — by myself — over two days.

raw-zucchini

I don’t know about you, but I kind of like girly soups. Especially if I’m serving lunch to my girlfriends.

And I could easily see this soup on the menu at some luxe resort or spa featured in one of my cookbooks (say, The Phoenician in Scottsdale, or Pebble Beach Lodge in California.)

Ingredients-Zucchini

This easy-to-make soup tastes surprisingly good the same day it’s made. I say surprisingly because most soups always taste better the next day.

If it wasn’t for the avocado, it might even qualify as a low fat soup. But don’t even think about skipping the avocado.

As luck would have it, avocado is made up of mostly good fats, so I don’t feel bad about adding it to this soup.

Seriously, the near zero-fat zucchini needs it.

cooking-zucchini

I call for shallots here, but any onion will work. The quick rendezvous with the saucepan is just to tame the shallot and briefly cook the zucchini.

Technically, you could skip the cooking step all together, but it enhances the flavor (and gives me a chance to add a little olive oil, thus sneaking in more flavor.)

Ingredients-Yogurt

I’m using low fat yogurt, not fat free. Fat free works, and yogurt is one of the few fat free products that doesn’t make me shiver with either fear or disgust.

See, I have no fear of fat but I am afraid of certain “fat-free” products, leery of what’s in them. If they’ve taken the fat out, what did they put in its place? Scary.

Generally (read the label), fat free yogurt is all natural and it’s fat free because it’s made with skim milk.

Blender

Once the zucchini and shallots briefly cook, all the ingredients go into the blender, or (my most prized — and expensive — kitchen toy) a Vita-Mix .

Vita-Mix is a blender on steroids and I use it almost daily to make smoothies, vinaigrettes, puree dips, soups and sauces, oh, and whip up blended girly cocktails, too.

There are slightly less expensive versions, but the variable speed was a key feature for me, so I bought the top-of-the-line (and I hear an even newer, more expensive version is on it’s way.)

Just for the record, I don’t have a fancy-schmancy kitchen, but I have invested in nice tools, like the Vita-Mix.

Avocado-Zucchini-Soup2

To add a little texture and substance (and flavor), I top the soup with roasted corn. Because I like spice, I garnish the soup with a few drops of Sriracha –just enough to warm the back of the throat after a few bites.

So, what do you think?

Too girly? I suppose you could “man” it up by added some cooked chopped shrimp or chicken, or even minced steak. Topping it with cooked lump crab might still be girly, no?

Do you have a girly soup you love to serve? Leave a comment. I’d love to know what you think.

Chilled Avocado Zucchini Soup

Serves 4

1 pound zucchini (about 2 large or 3 medium)
2 tablespoons sliced shallots
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 (6 oz.) cartons of Stonyfield organic yogurt (or 18 oz. of another brand)
1 large avocado
1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup cold water

Garnish:

Sriracha (or other hot chile sauce)
Kernels from 1 ear of roasted corn
Parsley leaves

1. Trim and slice zucchini into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the zucchini and shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are tender and zucchini is almost tender (it will turn a shade darker), about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Place the yogurt in a blender. Add the avocado, parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper and zucchini and shallots. Puree until smooth. If you deem the soup too thick, add 1/4 cup cold water and puree again, adding more water if necessary.* Taste and if you’d like more lemon or salt or pepper, add it. Chill the soup for at least an hour. It will keep 2 days, although you may have to stir it before serving.

3. Ladle soup in to small bowls and garnish with three drops of Sriracha, a tablespoon or two of roasted corn, and a parsley leaf.

*Different zucchini have different water content, so sometimes you might need to add the water and other times not. The soup should a little thicker than heavy cream, but still pourable from a spoon.

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5 Comments

Filed under Recipes, Tips & Tutorials

5 responses to “Chilled Avocado-Zucchini Soup

  1. Dean

    Gwen, great stuff! Tried to reply on Twitter via DM, but you’re not following me so I couldn’t.

    Sent you a public message just wondering where you cook. We’re (royal we) amateur foodies in PHX metro and dig your blogs, especially some of the Cave Creek stuff (that’s new home for us).

    I sent your Tucson info to foodie friends down there.

    Keep up the great work!

    D

  2. Gwen, this looks amazing. I used your corn technique for corn flan and was flabbergasted by the flavor. I think this soup looks amazing and if that means girlie, then I am all girl!

  3. Dean:

    Welcome! I’m following you now and look forward to your tweets. I love Cave Creek. You have to try Bryan’s BBQ if you haven’t already. Serious, smoky BBQ.

    Dana:

    I bet your corn flan was fantastic! We still need to develop a corn soup recipe, don’t we? I’m thinking with jalapenos, ha!

  4. “Girly Soup” is my new favorite category for my recipe file. Yes, yes, some soups are girly, absolutely. And thank goodness. And we deserve them. Thank you for this.

  5. Hi Gwen:

    This recipe sounds great. I had a bite of avocado soup today at lunch at a ladies restaurant in downtown Scottsdale and it just tasted like canned tin chicken broth. Although it was green and thick, the chicken broth was to strong you couldn’t taste anything else. I’ll give your recipe a try.

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