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Zucchini soup

Zucchini is one of those vegetables that is considered boring and bland. This soup will change your opinion.

Ancestors of zucchini were first cultivated in Mesoamerica more than 7000 years ago. They were first cultivated as zucchini near Milan, Italy. It later spread across Europe and North America in the 1920s, most probably brought over by Italian immigrants. It is favoured because of the ease with which it can be cultivated and its nutritional properties.

This is a super fast soup to make and it is light and healthy. The flavour comes from the broth so if you are rushed for time use a good commercial broth as a substitute. The mild zucchini flavour is complimented beautifully by the mint and the stock, light flavourful and a pop of summer on your palate.

The garden at the Great Dixter House has carved a name for itself for decades. This cookbook comes from the notes and recipes from the well-renowned Christopher Lloyd, including old classics like this dish, but also newer recipes. The book is all about the beautiful and well-tended kitchen garden, the fabulous produce and fresh and healthy recipes. Penned by Great Dixter’s vegetable gardener and cook, Aaron Bertelsen, The Great Dixter Cookbook continues to nurture Lloyd’s inspiring philosophy (‘garden and kitchen, gardener and cook’) through a collection of scrumptious recipes

For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.


For the stock:

1 small onion, sliced

4 garlic cloves, sliced

3 celery stems, finely diced

1 small carrot, diced

2-3 dried porcini mushrooms. diced

1 large bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon pepper

Salt, to taste

8 cups water

For the soup:

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 large onion, finely diced

3 large zucchini, about 1 1/2 lb, diced into 1/4-inch cubes

A large handful of mint to garnish

Salt, to taste

Juice of 1/2-3/4 lime or lemon

Add all the ingredients for the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard.

Heat the oil in a large pot and add the onions. Sauté on medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes till the onions are very soft. Add the zucchini and cook for an additional 10 minutes till the pieces are soft. Do not colour the onions or zucchini, we want them fresh.

Add the stock to the zucchini mix and boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the mint and mix in well. Cool and purée the soup with a hand blender till very smooth. Taste for salt and mint and adjust as needed. The soup should have a pop of fresh mint that compliments the light zucchini.

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