I'm a soup-slut. There - I confessed it. I proclaim everlasting adoration for tortellini in brodo but if a new soup winks at me, I have a dalliance. I will waltz with vichysoisse. Tango with Tuscan bean soup - and then search for any soup at 3 a.m. when all is still except my stomach. And this week I found a new love - cold zucchini soup with mint. Not only is it delicate, creamy (without too much cream) and elegant - it is a workhorse. It uses zucchini clubs. You know those precious two inch zucchini that begged to stay in the garden for one more day? Only to transform over night into a club large enough to down a T-Rex? Yes, you can use those in this soup.
I found it in a May 2005 issue of Bon Appetit. From those days when the May magazine would be devoted to a region - and that month was devoted to Rome, Florence and Venice. Of course I saved it.
Cold Zucchini Soup with Mint - 8 servings (four servings in my house)
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4-5 chopped leeks
8 cups chopped, trimmed zucchini (about 1 zucchini club)
6 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup whipping cream (the 2nd time I used evaporated skim milk and it was delicious)
1-1/2 tablespoon minced fresh mint (I used more) plus mint leaves for garnish (I used zucchini flowers)
Chilled Zucchini Soup Preparation
Melt butter with oil in heavy pot over medium-high heat.
Add leeks and saute until soft (not browned) - about five minutes.
Add zucchini and saute until softened (another 5 minutes or so).
Add 5 cups vegetable soup and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until zucchini is very tender - about 20 minutes.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth (I cooled to soup and used an immersion blender).
When pureed, return soup to same pot and mix in cream and mint.
Cover and chill in refrigerator at least 3 hours or overnight.
If too thick, add some extra broth.
This was perfect. The small amount of cream added luxury. Really - you just want sip it wearing your Armani suit. The zucchini club was enchanted - transformed from something unwieldy to sweet lusciousness. Try it - have a dalliance with this zucchini soup. Make it your last summer fling.