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Zucchini Poblano Soup

 

Okay. I know.

Soup isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when it’s 100 degrees with 97% humidity outside.

Hang in there with me and you will change your mind. Plus what better way to make use of your summer produce share than something you can make ahead for a dinner party, brunch or quick lunch?

I actually created this incredibly versatile soup after watching an episode of Rick Bayless’ “Mexico: One Plate at a Time.”

He made a lima bean soup with leeks and banana peppers then topped it with crispy pork jowl. Not having pork jowl and swearing off beans after doing my first round of Whole30 in the Fall, I decided to go about creating my own thing but using some of his ideas.

For instance, I liked the idea of topping a creamy soup with texture-filled, flavor-enhancing ingredients and I liked combining slightly spicy chiles with milder ingredients.

 

 

Rather than the beans employed in Chef Bayless’ recipe,  I used vegetables only - leeks, poblanos and zucchini - then topped it with crispy K Bar K bacon in place of the shredded pork jowl.

I kept the roasted carrots and parsnips that he suggests, adding lime juice and cilantro (over the other choice of parsley) to give it a bit of an acidic and herbal edge.

 

Alright.  I know. You’re still wondering how this factors into a hot Texas summer, right?

Here’s the deal.

I served the soup hot when I initially created this recipe, I mean it was “winter” after all. (Remember how we didn’t have a real winter in Texas this year??)

Then as I was contemplating what to write about for this post, I remembered this recipe and I realized that with our now sweltering temps, serving this soup cold would be great for a summer lunch, a starter for a dinner party or just a light dinner by itself with some Unrefined Bakery or Village House Sourdough Bread.

On top of that, my version makes use of the very vegetables that are overflowing this time of year – squash and peppers. (Remember that post on seasonality?)

You can certainly use the roasted carrots (or grilled for a no-oven, cooking outside, summer friendly version) and bacon on the cold soup for a yin/yang, hot/cold effect.

But to bump up the acid and make it more refreshing, try topping it with a mélange of cherry tomatoes, cucumber and cilantro or basil.

To give it more spice and a bit of Mexican flavor, use my easy recipe for Salsa Verde (to make use of the tomatillos in this week’s produce share) stirred into the finished soup before topping with the tomato/cucumber mix or bacon/roasted carrots, either one.

To make a creamy soup, swirl in a bit of yogurt, which will add a little tang to offset the sweet squash and creamy soup. As I promised up front, it is a very versatile recipe.

 

 

You can buy chicken broth or make your own like I did from Windy Meadows chicken carcasses (which I highly recommend), you can bring even more gut-healing qualities and extra protein to the soup by adding a scoop or two of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides into the hot (or cold) soup or by dissolving a tablespoon of Vital Proteins Gelatin in cold stock then stirring into hot (not boiling) soup.

 

 

Zucchini Poblano Soup

You can use yellow squash (or, really, any other summer squash) in place of zucchini.
    
The only difference will be a slightly sweeter, less vegetable soup and the obvious difference in color.
  
Serves 4 as a light meal or 6 as a starter

 

Soup

 1 1/2 lbs zucchini (or other summer squash), coarsely chopped
2 poblanos or green pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 onion or 3 leeks, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp butter or ghee
6 cups chicken stock
2 scoops of Vital Proteins collagen or 2 tsp Vital Proteins Gelatin
Himalayan Pink Sea salt and black pepper to taste



Toppings and Variations:

Roasted Carrot & Bacon
3 carrots, roasted (or grilled) with salt and olive oil then chopped
4 strips K Bar K bacon, thinly sliced and cooked until crispy
Finely chopped cilantro and/or chives
Limes

 

Tomato Cucumber

1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes, quartered and mixed with the following:
1 small cucumber, diced
Jalapeno, finely chopped, optional
Cilantro or Basil, finely chopped
Himalayan pink sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil

 Creamy Zucchini Soup
½ cup yogurt, blended into cold soup
Green onion, basil, cilantro or a combo, finely chopped and sprinkled on top
Roasted Carrot or Tomato topping, above
 
Mexican Zucchini Soup
½ cup prepared Salsa Verde, or more to taste
Tomato Cucumber Topping, above
Yogurt to swirl in
Chopped Cilantro and Chives or Green onions

 

Instructions:

  1. Sauté vegetables in butter until softened.
  2. Blend with enough stock to loosen the mixture up and get a smooth puree. If you are using gelatin or collagen, blend it in with the veggies and stock at this time.
  3. Transfer to a large saucepan and add remaining stock. Cook over medium heat until boiling and slightly thickened.
  4. Taste and add sea salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Remove from heat and let come to room temp before refrigerating if you plan to eat it chilled.
  6. For cold soup, chill in refrigerator until cold then serve with desired toppings.
  7. For hot soup, serve right away with the variety of toppings on the table.

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