It has been a week of last-of’s. The last of the garden peaches. The last of the cherry tomatoes. The last of the shell beans. And now, the last of the eggplant and zucchini. It’s a sure sign the popularity if not the abundance of the last two is waning, when market vendors start marking down the prices. (Almost one euro off for the zucchini! I guess everyone has moved on to cauliflower and winter squash.)
I, too, am tempted to move on from summer produce, but it’s hard for me to resist a bargain. So here I am with a big bunch of…you guessed it….zucchini and eggplant. Eggplant is easy to adapt to cooler-weather dishes. (Eggplant parmesan! Anything by Yotam Ottolenghi…though he calls it ‘aubergine.’) But zucchini is a bit trickier because it just tastes so summery on its own.
Except in this soup. I learned how to make this soup from a friend who whipped up a version of it for her kids one summer evening. It was so simple and so satisfying (Summer evenings in Brittany can get chilly enough to enjoy a hot soup.) that I have been making my own version ever since—and marveling at the pure alchemy that turns three simple ingredients— zucchini, garlic, and milk—into a thick, creamy, crave-worthy soup. It’s the kind of soup that makes you want seconds, the kind of soup that it’s OK to HAVE seconds because it is so light and low-cal.
The soup can be served hot or cold, can be made with vegetable or dairy milk, and can be dressed up with diced, sautéed zucchini (as shown) herbs, spices (I may try curry one day) or just about anything else. And it’s perfectly gorgeous with yellow squash, if that’s what you happen to have a lot of.
Creamy 3-Ingredient Zucchini Soup
2 lb. (900 g.) zucchini (about 3 large), quartered and chopped (6 cups), plus more for garnish, if desired
3 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 ½ cups dairy or vegetable milk
1 ½ cups water
1 tsp. salt
Place the zucchini and the garlic in a large saucepan, and add the milk, water and salt. Cover, and bring to a boil. (Watch out – it will have a tendency to boil over.) Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes, or until the zucchini is very soft. Purée the soup until smooth. Adjust the seasonings, and garnish with sautéed zucchini, if desired.