From Dish Erin:
I realize summer is over, but I’m not yet ready to let go of it’s glorious produce. I love root veggies and sweet potato dishes, I do, but maybe it’s because I don’t feel like I actually had a summer that I’m hesitant to accept that it’s technically gone. I whipped this soup up a few weeks ago on a Sunday night as a way to put some balance into a particularly indulgent weekend (burgers and fries and beer, repeat, oh my!). The result was this light, healthy, summery and versatile soup. I used zucchini and leeks, but you could use ANYTHING green. Like broccoli? Throw it in. Green beans, peas, and/or asparagus would work, too. Nothing gets easier and lends itself more to creativity in the kitchen than soup.
2 tablespoons olive oil+ 1/4 cup for leek frying
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 large zucchini, sliced
2-3 cups of chicken (or vegetable) stock
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
Fresh basil, mint and/or parsley
Salt & Pepper
First things first, prep the leek, and here’s my preferred method for this recipe: Slice off the green tops. Slice off the bottom roots. You should be left with only the white stalk. Slice in half lengthwise and wash thoroughly. You now have two white halves, take one and slice crosswise so you have little 1/4 inch half-rings. Do the same to the other half but reserve about 2 inches for the garnish, set that 2 inch piece to the side.
Sauté the shallot and garlic over in a stock pot or deep sauté pan over medium heat until soft.
Add the leeks and zucchini and continue to sauté for about 4 minutes or so, tossing (or stirring) to make sure all the veggies get coated with olive oil and butter. Season with salt & pepper.
Add stock to cover the veggies, cover and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes or so. Make sure the veggies are cooked through and when they are tender, remove from heat.
Use a blender, food mill or immersion blender to puree the soup. When it’s 75% of the way there, add a handful of fresh herbs (I like basil, mint and/or parsley, but I bet dill would work nicely, too), a few tablespoons of heavy cream and more salt & pepper to taste. Then puree again until fully incorporated. Soup should be velvety and smooth. If it’s too thick, add a little bit more stock or cream, your choice.
Pour back into the pot over low heat to keep warm.
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil over high heat. While the oil is warming, take the leek you reserved and slice lengthwise to create thin little matchsticks. When the oil is hot, throw them in the pan and flash fry them. This will only take about 30 seconds, leeks go in, leeks come out, crispy and golden brown! Place them on a paper towel to absorb the oil and immediately salt & pepper. I also like to zest a little lemon over them.
Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with frizzled leeks. You can also top with a few slices of whole zucchini as pictured here. Grab a spoon and enjoy!