I love to start a meal with a soup. Somehow it feels more elegant to me. But in summer, you certainly don’t want something hot, and for cold soups, the repertoire seems more limited. Gazpacho is one, and then there’s watermelon, cucumber, and vichyssoise (I am not a fan) but not much else comes to mind. So I was particularly excited to find this Chilled Curried Zucchini Soup with Apple Garnish recipe from Pierre Franey in The New York Times Country Weekend Cookbook.
I made this to start a dinner party just this past Thursday night and it was a hit, called out by several folks in their thank-you emails.
Remember that cold soups must be really cold. You don’t want to be iffy here. Make it cold. I made this soup on Tuesday evening with everything but the yogurt and chopped apples. At the start of the party on Thursday, I whisked in the yogurt, peeled and chopped the apple and added it all in and seasoned the soup with salt and pepper. Then I let the pot sit on the counter for a bit but luckily realized I should put it back in the fridge until just before serving. That was a good move.
The next day, I had a bowl of leftover soup right out of the fridge and it was even better colder! And I found out that I really could have combined everything, including the yogurt and apple, as all the flavors melded better and the apple did not lose any crispness.
This is rich tasting and elegant, different and delicious. It tastes creamy but without a drop of cream. The healthy yogurt makes it work. I made this with Ethel’s farmer’s market zucchini, homemade chicken stock made from roasted chicken wing tips and mint from my garden. But I’m sure this recipe will work fine with good supermarket bought ingredients as well. But don’t forget to add your LOVE when making, the most important ingredient.
CHILLED CURRIED ZUCCHINI SOUP WITH APPLE GARNISH – serves 4 – adapted from Pierre Franey
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 medium white onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tsp. curry powder
2 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut into 1/8” rounds
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup of plain yogurt (I used whole milk yogurt but not Greek)
1 Golden Delicious apple
2 – 3 stems of mint leaves for garnish
Melt butter in a large pot on medium heat. Add onions. Cook stirring until onions are wilted, 2 – 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook stirring for one minute. Add curry powder and salt to taste. Stir for one minute. Add zucchini and chicken stock.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Puree the soup in a blender, food processer or use an immersion wand blender. I like to use the immersion blender best. It has been the best investment – quicker, easier and less mess. Just stick it in the soup and whir!
Refrigerate the soup, until very cold, preferably overnight.
When it is cold, whisk in the yogurt, reserving a little for garnish. Peel and core the apple, then cut into small cubes and stir it into the soup. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with a dollop of yogurt and some mint leaves.
Hope you all are having a wonderful Fourth of July weekend!! We are enjoying glorious weather here on the east coast. And last night we were fortunate enough to be invited to our friends home on a lake with a spectacular fireworks show!