Creamy Zucchini Soup or Crema de Calabacín is a simple soup to make anytime of year. It’s delicious warm and can also be chilled for a summer soup. Here in Spain it’s a staple on menús del día and also a widely available prepared soup. The flavor of the zucchini plus the light green color gives this soup a delightful fresh taste that can be served plain or dressed up with croutons, chopped nuts or shaved parmesan cheese.
Rick and I generally eat our meals in the same manner we did in the US. We’ll dish up the food in the kitchen and carry the plates to the table to eat. In Spanish homes the main meal is often a more formal affair, with distinct courses, place settings, and Mom dashing back and forth to the kitchen for the next course (and washing all those dishes afterwards).
Crema de Calabcín is perfect for a soup course or it can be supplemented with a green salad or sandwich for a regular meal. You can change the flavor to suit the various seasons by substituting basil or mint for the thyme or perhaps adding a shredded apple or pear.
I found a pack of “zoodles” when I went through my freezer recently and used them as the base for my soup. Naturally you could use chopped or shredded fresh zucchini. Either way, you’ll need between 3 -4 cups of sliced or shredded zucchini (about 2 regular sized zucchini). I like to salt the pieces and drain the extra liquid, but it’s not strictly necessary. Leave the peels on unless there’s a nasty bit that can be cut off. They give a nice color to the soup when it’s pureed. A potato adds some bulk and creaminess. I used cream for richness, but if you prefer use regular milk or omit it altogether.
- 2 medium zucchini, shredded (between 3 - 4 cups)
- 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil (use more if not adding cream)
- ½ medium onion, diced small
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 large potato, peeled and diced
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth, plus more as needed
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (more or less, to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup cream
- Shred the zucchini, sprinkle with a little salt and transfer to a colander to drain. (I put my colander on a plate to catch the liquid).
- Heat the oil in a medium, heavy bottomed pot with a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Stir in the onions and saute until they just start to change color.
- Add the potato and vegetable broth.
- Season and adjust the heat until the broth is just below a boil.
- When the potatoes are nearly cooked through, add the shredded zucchini, discard any juices that may have collected. Simmer for five more minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.
- Use a stick blender to puree the vegetables. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.
- Reduce the heat, then stir in the cream. Add more broth if needed to adjust the thickness of the soup.
- Serve warm or if you prefer, cool the soup in the fridge. The fats will separate as the soup cools, Stir them back in before serving.
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