Lean, Green, Luscious Zucchini Soup

October 5, 2015
It's still summer in this bowl.
By 
Jill Bernardini
Lean, Green, Luscious Zucchini Soup | WGBH | Craving Boston

When I first tasted this soup, I couldn’t believe that there was no addition of cream or cheese. The true flavor of the zucchini really shines through with a little kick from smoky poblano peppers. This is a great recipe to use up those garden monsters—the zucchini I had on hand were almost two pounds in weight!

I finish this soup with a bit of black pepper, but I like that subtle bite from ground white pepper and ground ginger in the base of the soup.  A handful of fresh basil at the end amps up the bright green color and lets us stretch out those summer flavors just a little bit longer.

Ingredients 
2 poblano peppers
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large zucchini, halved, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
4 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
1 small loaf focaccia or other crusty bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
  salt and black pepper to taste
Directions 
  1. Set poblanos directly over a gas burner on a low flame, or place on a rimmed baking sheet under the broiler of an oven, char the skins of the poblano peppers, about 2 minutes per side, rotating frequently, to evenly char the outsides. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
  2. In a large soup pot over medium heat, add the butter and allow it to melt. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the onion, season with salt and sauté for 4 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, remove the seeds and stems from the poblano peppers and roughly chop them.
  4. Add the garlic to the soup, sauté for an additional 2 minutes, then add the poblano peppers and the zucchini.
  5. Stir in the ground ginger and white pepper to combine, and cook the vegetable mixture for 6 minutes.
  6. Stir in the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, make the croutons. Cut 1-inch thick slices out of the focaccia loaf, then chop into small cubes.
  8. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil then toss in the croutons and toast on all sides. Stir frequently to evenly crisp the focaccia cubes, about 4 minutes. Place in a separate bowl until ready to garnish the soup.
  9. Remove the soup from the heat, toss in the basil, and using an immersion blender, purée the soup until fully blended. Taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if you like.
  10. Ladle into individual bowls, garnish with the croutons and serve immediately.