For the last couple of months I became interested in the Paleo nutritional system, as most people who follow it appear to be very fit. It got me curious. It also did not hurt that Dr. Loren Cordain,  the man behind the Paleo approach is now part of our extended family: Phil’s sister recently married his uncle-in-law. Small world! Anyway, fully aware of my self-inflicted moratorium on cookbooks in 2015, I did what a sensible food blogger would do and bought some Paleo-oriented publications last November. As you can see, I have an amazing ability to outsmart myself.  If you have any interest in the subject, I highly recommend Well Fed2, The Frugal Paleo Cookbook, and Nom Nom Paleo Food for Humans. Don’t worry, the Bewitching won’t turn into a Low-carb, Paleo, Vegan, or “insert any diet system here” blog.  There will be bread, pasta, rice, couscous, a lot of meat, and sweets. Omnivore, and loving it! –  has always been my motto, and that isn’t changing. But the truth is that one can cook a ton of tasty stuff under the Paleo approach. Plus, it’s all reasonably low in carbohydrates and high in protein, a kind of eating I’ve favored for the past 4 or 5 years. This soup is a perfect example of deliciousness that is low in fat, low in carbs, and keeps me satisfied from lunch until dinner.  As you may notice,  I included a cheese crisp that would not be blessed by Paleo folks.  It would make this version Primal, I suppose. Still hanging around caves, but with a little more pizzazz, sipping the occasional wine from a coconut shell.




The secret for this smooth and delicious soup is the use of ginger and coriander as background spices. The soup starts with a simple saute of onion and garlic, then ginger and coriander in powdered form are added, releasing their flavors in the hot oil. Next, zucchini pieces join the party, and the whole thing will be simmered for about one hour in your favorite type of broth (chicken, veggie, or beef).  When the zucchini is super tender, the soup is blended and ready to be enjoyed.

You can find the recipe in Melissa’s site with a click here.
It is also in her cookbook Well Fed2.


I’ve made this soup almost as many times as I made Mike’s Creamy Broccoli Soup. Sometimes I used chicken broth, sometimes a mixture of chicken broth and water.  A squirt of lemon juice right before serving is a nice touch too. Cheese crisps pair very well with the zucchini. To make them I followed the method that Mike described in his original post for the broccoli soup.  On the first photo of this post, I used a Cheddar type cheese, and in the photo below I went with Parmigiano-Reggiano.  I like Parmigiano better, because it releases less oil as it bakes, and has that unique sharpness that contrasts very well with the silky soup.


I confess I was afraid of making the crisps from scratch, due to traumatic experiences of a distant past. At that time I tried making them on a non-stick skillet on the stove top, and ended up with a complete mess, pretty much inedible.

But preparing them in the oven was a totally different experience. First, place parchment paper over a baking sheet (or use Silpat).  Then add small amounts of shredded cheese of your choice separated by about 1-inch.  They won’t spread too much, but better safe than sorry.


Watch them carefully, because they will go from perfect to burned in a matter of seconds….


Carefully transfer them to a rack, so that they get crisp. You can use them right away, or store for later.

You will find all sorts of uses for these crisps… This beautiful Mexican-Caprese was made by my beloved husband…  and embellished by the crisps…

TexMexCapreseDressing was avocado oil infused with basil (he used the handy cubes from Dorot), a little lemon juice for good measure.

But back to the zucchini soup: a real winner of a recipe. I normally make a batch in the weekend, and it becomes my lunch for three days in the following week. If I don’t  have cheese crisps I top it with toasted almonds, or a diced hard-boiled egg. Simple, and quite nutritious.

Before I leave you, I want to share the best text I’ve seen in a long time concerning healthy-eating. It is a well-written satire on the state of nutritional advice these days. Hilarious, but unfortunately quite close to our reality these days.  Enjoy it with a click here. A little quote as a teaser:

The ONLY way to eat is seasonally, locally and sustainably.  If you live in a place where snow falls and kills crops and animals starve you should eat snow and only snow.  To do anything else will cause immediate and untimely death”.  
(from Sarah Yates, A Little House in the Hills).


ONE YEAR AGO: Sweet Fifteen!

TWO YEARS AGO: Sesame and Flaxseed Sourdough

THREE YEARS AGO: Green Beans with Miso and Almonds

FOUR YEARS AGO: Saturday Morning Scones





    • I think the ginger and coriander together perform amazing tricks on the palate – it has a background “heat” almost as if there is some type of exotic pepper in it. Really interesting.


  1. Have to try this soon as like the ginger/coriander angle and am potty about zucchini! Well, a little tweaking ahead as also love ginger/galangal and coriander in their natural state too much and hardly ever reach for the powdered ‘stuff’ 🙂 ! It does have a beautiful colour, and am certain a most fabulous taste!!


    • potty about zucchini… in all honesty, I must say I will have to ask Phil for the meaning, or else GOOGLE it… I suspect it means you do not care for zucchini? Oh, I love the many ways in which English makes me feel naive 😉

      if you can find galangal root, definitely use it, and of course, ginger in its cute natural form. I’ve done that – with the ginger – one of the times I made this soup. At any rate, make it, I know you will love it. Unless, of course, if potty means I WILL NEVER TOUCH ZUCCHINI NO MATTER WHAT 😉


      • Roaring with laughter, Sally – we all speak English, but can we get into trouble 🙂 !! [Like the time I told a US gardener that I would have to get a few punnets of a certain flower . . .meaning a small rectangular plastic container with 6-8 seedlings, and it was a case of ‘huh’ ?!!]. Now if one is potty, one can be said to be crazy or nuts, yes?? So I don’t just ‘like’ zucchini, and I more than ‘love’ zucchini . . . I am ‘potty’ or ‘crazy’ about them and have just bought a dozen in my current online grocery shopping: enough to make the soup, methinks 😀 !!


    • You and moi both! Actually I don’t have a problem with a REAL gluten sensitivity, which affects at most 1% of the population (and that is the higher end of the statistics available) – but those who faint when faced with 1 molecule of gluten on their fork, they get my eye roll to the ceiling (at least mentally)

      here, Karen.. have some wine!


  2. One of my grad student pals was on a paleo diet for most of last year and I had to learn alot about the kinds of food she will eat as we always had dinner over at my place. I had fun learning and reading that Nom Nom Paleo book with her. She will love this soup and I am forwarding it her way. On another note: thanks for the heads up the other day about my email. I may have fixed it but who knows how technology works. Oh and also, thanks for Dorie’s book recommendation. I picked up Baking Chez moi last week and I think I just had my best weekend baking! I’m in love with that book.
    Hope you have a great week coming up!


  3. It definitely can’t hurt to incorporate some paleo-friendly meals when you can!! I just can’t imagine going totally carb-free…I would be so unpleasant if i did. 😛 I love the ginger flavor in this soup! A great way to dress up zucchini.


  4. Oh goodness, I’m overwhelmed. So much tasty things to try in one post! 🙂 The cheese crisps by far are my favorite and will be tried ASAP. I had no idea they were so easy. I absolutely adore them and have eaten them at restaurants, but it never crossed my mind to make them at home (insert slap to forehead here). The soup also looks delicious and would be perfect in this weather for my lunches. I’m terrible at coming up with good options for lunch. It’s my least favorite meal of the day. I’m also going to try Phil’s Mexican Caprese. That looks like perfection and I happen to have some avocado oil handy in the pantry. Yum!!!!


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