Zucchini soup gets a shot of perkiness from verjus. The soup is served above inside an Eight Ball Squash, a spherical hybrid of zucchini. See our Squash Glossary for many types of squash. Photo by Wiktory | IST.
ERIC DANTIS is a professional chef in New York City.
Zucchini Soup Recipe
With Verjus For An Extra Twist
Brighten up your zucchini soup by substituting verjus for white wine, as Chef Eric Dantis did in this recipe.
Zucchini Soup Recipe
This soup is excellent by itself or paired with the Spicy Avocado & Shrimp Cocktail. You can serve the shrimp cocktail with a soup “chaser” in a juice glass or Champagne flute. Recipe yields 5 cups of soup.
If you can find especially large zucchini, you can cut “bowls” from them. Scoop out the insides to use for the soup.
- 5–6 large, fresh zucchini, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
- 1 medium onion or ½ large onion, medium dice
- ½ parsnip, medium dice
- 1 stalk celery, medium dice
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 blood orange (substitute a navel orange if you can’t find a blood orange)
- ½ cup verjus
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- Optional: juice of one lemon
- Preheat a large pot and add just enough oil to coat bottom. Sweat onions until aromatic.
- Toss in parsnip and garlic and continue to sweat. Add a large pinch of salt and pepper and stir occasionally until onions are translucent and other vegetables are almost tender.
- Pour in verjus and stir, making sure to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Reduce by half.
- While the vegetables are sweating, peel zucchini and cut in half lengthwise. Then cut each half lengthwise again so you end up with 4 wedges. Run your knife along the seed line to cut away and discard seeds. Cut zucchini into chunks and add to pot along with thyme, bay leaf.
- Using a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife, shave off a 1-inch-long piece of orange rind, aiming to steer clear of the white pith. If you end up with pith, lay orange peel pith side up on a cutting board, take a knife and run it parallel to the peel just under the pith. Add to pot. Stir to combine.
- Pour in chicken stock and top off with just enough water to cover the vegetables.
- Simmer about 30–40 minutes, skimming off any fat or scum. Then turn off the heat and let sit for at least a half and hour, to let flavors combine and allow the liquid to cool slightly. Remove and discard the orange peel.
- Working in batches, pour mixture into blender and purée until smooth.*
- Place puree back in the pot and let sit for another 20-30 minutes to let the flavors marry.
- Taste and re-season with salt and pepper, verjus or fresh-squeezed lemon juice if necessary. The flavor should taste of zucchini with a slight pop or brightness.
*Take care when turning on a blender containing hot liquid, as the air can expand and the lid may pop off. To remedy this, use a tea towel to cover the blender or remove the plastic center of the cap and cover the opening with the towel.