Recently I read a very interesting article by Marcella Hazan,  in which she rants against the current trend of under-cooking vegetables and pasta in many restaurants.  You can find the article here.  I couldn’t agree more, there is a fine line of perfectly cooked food – particularly veggies –  that preserves some bite and freshness.  Err in either direction and you’ll get mushy, gray food or  warm crudites. Not sure which would be worse.  😉

With that thought in mind, it is surprising that a soup that simmers zucchini for 45 long minutes could be so perfect, but it is.   Until now, my default zucchini soup was from Chocolate and Zucchini, a version that adds a touch of sesame in the form of tahini paste.  With this curried zucchini recipe, I found a serious contender for the number 1 spot. I will consider that a tie, and enjoy them both!

(adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook)
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4 small zucchini, cut into chunks
1 medium shallot, minced
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground fresh ginger
1/4 tsp dry mustard
2 cups chicken broth
2 Tbs raw rice
salt and pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream

Add the zucchini chunks, shallots, curry, ginger, and mustard into a saucepan.  Pour the chicken broth over it, add the raw rice, and bring to a boil.  Cover the pan and simmer for 45 minutes.  Puree the mixture using a hand held blender, or pass it through a food mill. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream, taste it and add more if you like it richer.

The soup can be served hot or chilled.

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Until I tasted it, I wasn’t sure I would like this soup, thinking the zucchini would have lost all its brightness from the long simmering.  The first spoonful got my silent appreciation, suddenly interrupted by Phil’s words “wow, this soup is really good!”   With heavy emphasis on the “really.”  The curry and the ginger perform some kind of magic to restore a sense of freshness to the zucchini, which retains a nice green color.  I reduced quite a bit the amount of heavy cream called for in the original recipe, but indulge if you prefer, and go for one and a half cups of it.

ONE YEAR AGO: Chocolate Bread (this one melts in your mouth….)

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