I was looking for some recipes to try a couple of weeks ago, specifically meals that would work on hot days as Toronto has been cooking for the past month and it shows no signs of letting up any time soon.
In my dozens of links and tabs, I came across a recipe for Curried Zucchini Soup and, although I initially bypassed it, I found myself going back to the page and bookmarking it to try at a future date. That future day was two days later! 🙂
One thing about this recipe that caught my attention was the addition of rice to the soup. I knew it was a blended soup and I was curious how the texture would turn out with the rice blended in.
I took some liberties with the recipe, adding more garlic and more spices than the recipe called for, and the soup turned out great! A light, slow burn on the back of the tongue but not so spicy that you’re scrabbling for milk afterwards! I also neglected to take as many pictures as I should have so this entry will require some imagination on your part.
Click here for the recipe or scroll to the bottom of the post.
So the typical beginning to most soups, at least in my experience, is the tenderizing of the onions. This is something that I constantly have trouble with, because I always burn them.
Yes, you’d think that would be an easy fix, wouldn’t you? “Just, um, start it all off a little cooler? Maybe? Just a thought.” And I do! At least I think I do every time…and every time it’s still too high.
While the onions were doing their thing, I diced up a number of zucchini. (Zucchinis? Zucchin-eye? Whatever.) I’m really liking the chopping and dicing part of cooking, especially when there’s a lot to do. One you get your rhythm down, your hands start moving of their own accord and I felt myself relaxing…almost as though I were meditating. I suppose it is a sort of meditation, a repetitive motion that allows your mind and body to relax and focus on one simple thing.
In this case it worked, and I think I diced up about 3 cups or more before I realized I had gone beyond the recipe requirements! 🙂 For the record, I used them all anyway.
Once my onions were…ahem…a lovely burnish caramel colour…I added the garlic and zucchini with a little bit of salt. The recipe calls for 3 cloves of garlic but I’m pretty sure I went over that. I cheated and used pre-minced garlic in a jar, 2-3 tsp worth. Yeah yeah, I like my garlic!
Stirred everything together, letting it sizzle for a bit….Sizzle, such a good cooking word! I think this word should be used as a verb more often. But I digress.
A few sizzle minutes later, the recipe prompts you to add the stock, the curry powder and the rice. I started with the curry and stirred it in first, followed by the additional ingredients.
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let it simmer for half an hour. It should end up like this:
Now comes the fun part! Blending!
This part was so fun that I wasn’t able to get pictures of it without getting soup all over the camera so you’ll have to use your imagination 😉 This is also the point where you taste and spice.
I added more salt, a lot of pepper and a good pinch of cayenne during the blending process, tasting it often until it suited.
I wish I’d gotten a nice shot of this soup in a bowl, with a piece of bread…you know the “Food Shot” that makes your mouth water! Instead, the above shot is what you get. 😉 Just take me word for it, this soup was delicious! I froze a number of servings and it reheats well too! Just be sure to spice it and keep tasting as you go. I don’t think any of my seasoning amounts matched the recipe! lol
Curried Zucchini Soup
- i tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds zucchini, diced (about 7 cups diced)
- 2 teaspoons curry powder (more to taste)
- 6 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
- 1/4 cup basmati rice
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper (I like a lot of it in this soup)
- Pinch of cayenne
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until it is tender, about 5 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt, the garlic and the zucchini and stir for about a minute, until the garlic smells fragrant. Add the curry powder, stir together, and add the stock or water, the rice and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt.
2. Purée the soup with an immersion blender or a food mill or in batches in a blender, taking care to remove the lid or take out the center insert and to cover with a towel to avoid hot splashes. Return to the pot, heat through, add pepper and cayenne to taste and stir in the lemon juice. Serve, garnishing each bowl with paper-thin slices of zucchini, chopped chives and croutons if desired.