Saturday, February 28, 2009

cream of leek & zucchini soup.


I love zucchini! It's an under-appreciated vegetable, for sure. Maybe that is because it tends to overtake people's backyard gardens and produce an abundance that you can't make a dent in, no matter how many loaves of zucchini bread you make. But, I guess I have a thing for underdog vegetables.


A few days ago I was visiting my friend (you know, the one with the chickens) and she offered me some leftover soup for lunch. I never turn down a free lunch, and I love to try new soups. This one is going straight into the recipe box- the flavor was perfect, the creaminess lent it a satisfying richness, and the zucchini made me feel like I was eating something reasonably healthy. A small cup was the perfect amount for a light lunch.

I asked my friend for the recipe, so she sent it on over:

From Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant:

(Serves 6)
3-4 leeks, rinsed well and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
3-4 medium zucchini, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon dried tarragon (Editor's note- I would immediately think that I'd want to use fresh, but I asked Alia and she said she used dried, and it tasted fantastic, so carry on, y'all- maybe garnish with some fresh tarragon on top if you're feeling crazy?)
1-1 1/2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream

In a medium soup pot, on medium heat, saute the leeks and onions in the olive oil and butter until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. (Editor's note, again- 10 minutes? That seems like a really long time. It really only takes like 2 or 3 minutes tops to sweat some onions.) Stir in the zucchini, salt, and garlic. Saute for 10 more minutes, until the zucchini is tender(Editor's- Wait, REALLY? 10 minutes? That's a long time to saute stuff, am I crazy? Zucchini is pretty delicate, too- it gets mushy really fast. Saute at your own discretion). Add the tarragon, fennel, and black pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes. Remove half of the vegetables and set aside.

Sprinkle the flour into the soup pot, stirring, until the vegetables are well coated. Whisk in the stock. Heat, stirring frequently, until the soup begins to thicken. Remove it from the heat. When the soup has cooled a little, puree it in a blender or food processor and return it to the pot.

Add the reserved vegetables and heat the soup to simmering. Stir in the cream or milk. Take care not to let the soup boil.


Despite my reservations about the cooking times presented in the recipe, this soup was delicious- so don't mind me. Just do what you do when you make soup. I especially love that it's only partially blended, with some large chunks- it gives it a creaminess but still maintains some texture in the zucchini. Perfect! Get your soup on while it's still chilly- tomorrow March begins and it's all downhill to spring time!

Actually, I just thought about it for a minute, and I guess the 10 minutes direction makes sense (at least for the zucchini). Since this soup doesn't simmer for a long time, you'll want the veggies to be fully cooked during the saute portion, rather than with a chicken soup or something brothy, where you can just sweat the veggies and then let them finish cooking in broth. Never mind my rambling!


becka said...

Oh, yum! I love zucchini and I love Moosewood. Can't wait to try it!

meet me at mikes said...

Yes! I will make it! I will follow the recipe a la Moosewood - and I hope it looks as nice as yours! x

The Fabulous One said...

Wow I just made cream of leek and potato soup. What a co-inky-dink!

Stephanesia said...

I also love zucchini!! And leeks. Whenever it's leek season I do leek and potato... and leek everything.

I will try this. Very soon!

Dawn said...

I would love to devour this. Plus I need to use zucchini more.

Jessica said...

Your soup options look simply delicious. Yum! I love oyur blog and keep coming back for more.

Chris said...

Sounds delicious. And hey, we have that same china pattern. It's ancient, but I immediately recognized it from my childhood!

Kristina said...

Hey, I have Sundays at Moosewood! Obviously, I need to go dig out this recipe.

cindy* said...

yum. i love leeks and zuchinni is hands down one of my favorite vegetables. we have it at least twice a week.

Jesse said...

I just discovered the cookbook you got this recipe from - I love it!! I'll definitely be trying this soup.

wghook said...

I love zucchini and I love soup. Zucchini and soup just seem to go together. I know that you had some reservations about doing the blog on your own, but you're doing a great job and I've tried at least the quinoa mushroom stew (can't remember if I've tried others, but I'm sure they were good) and it was terrific. Add it to my recipe collection and took pictures of the huge pile of mushrooms sauteing in the soup pot.

SAHM I am said...

That looks sooooo good. I've been looking for a new soup recipe to get us through the last of the cold season. Do you think a fat free 1/2 & 1/2 would work instead of the heavy cream? My husband has dreams of seeing me in a bathing suit by June, ha!

laura said...

Moosweood is just the best. I love Mollie Katzen.

idyll hands said...

This sounds delicious! I wish my zucchini would take over my backyard. I always lose the wear with squash bugs that eat away my stems and kill my plants. Organic gardening sure has it's let downs at times :)

marissa said...

oooh that sounds and looks so delish I'll definitely be picking up some zuccs next time I'm at the market

Aran said...

must try this one. i made something similar before with the addition of a creamy cheese at the end. i can live off soup for the rest of my life!

flamingrose said...

By the way, beautiful Pfaltzgraff dishes!

The Huang Family said...

I have been a silent reader. Just wanted to know I LUUUV this blog. You inspire me!

duodishes said...

Cream of leek sounds amazing right now...

Rachel said...

Can't wait to try it!

Lara,Sara said...

I love LOVe ur blog, everything on it makes me wanna be a good chef!
I just found ur blog and I have spent this whole day reading it!
-a girl from Finland:)-

gomichild said...

Zucchini is awesome! And this soup looks yum. said...

this sounds lovely. yumm. just found your blog - yay.

marymaryj1 said...

i made this last week and it turned out great! my very picky husband and 6 guests i had over loved it!

prosttothehost said...

I used your recipe and it turned out fantastic. I used 2 small potatoes (already semi-baked). I didn't have a fancy immersion blender nor did I want to blend it up (making more of a mess) so Ijust hand mashed 1/2 of the veggies with a potato masher. Thanks for sharing.

Courtney said...

I made this the other night and also used two small semi-baked potatoes, plus about a cup of mushrooms. BOMB!

Stanza said...

Ooh this is tasty thank you for such a wonderful recipe! I fed a variation of it to all my friends!

Thank you!

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Nancy said...

Definitely a good lookin soup! Actually all of these soups look great, the mushroom one, mmm vegetarian chili!

Andrea said...

Well, it's the middle of a lovely July heatwave, but I'm going to make this anyway. I have everything I need, and it sounds delish. It will also keep me warm in my super-freezing-cold office.