With the colder weather upon us, we’ve officially rounded the corner into soup season. This nourishing soup has been in my rotation for a few years, and for good reason. It is easy, fast to put together, and avoids that “it will be better tomorrow” comment you often get with soups. It is a great one to serve to guests, too. Every time I make it, I am amazed at how creamy it is, and there isn’t a drop of cream or non-dairy cream substitutes in it!
The soup was created by Melissa Joulwan. If you’ve seen the Well Fed cookbooks, you know her work. She is a complete flavor wizard in the kitchen, has a beautiful soul, and, bonus, is currently living in Prague (her blog is filled with food stories of living abroad, books she’s reading, and fun adventures). If you struggle with knowing how to use spices, head over to her site and follow any of her Paleo-inspired recipes!
I’ve found that it isn’t necessary to cook this soup for an hour as the original recipe calls for. (I’ve adjusted the cooking time below to reflect this). On average, my zucchini pieces tend to be fully cooked and soft after about 40 minutes, but if you cut the pieces larger you may want to let it cook longer. Using an immersion blender (sometimes called a stick blender) makes it a one-pot meal with easy clean-up. If you don’t have an immersion blender, a regular blender will do just fine. Just make sure you are careful with the hot soup and blend in batches to avoid splatters.
Additionally, you may get a deeper and richer flavor using beef broth instead of chicken broth – I’ve done both and my favorite is always using homemade broth over store-bought, no matter the flavor. Homemade broth tends to have more complex flavors, and you definitely get more nutrients making your own broth. Watch for an upcoming post on how to do this – it is easier than you think!
To see if your dried herbs and spices are still good, put some in your hand and give it a rub to activate the oils and take a whiff. If the smell is faint, it is time to update. They are still safe to eat, but you wouldn’t believe the difference in flavor when using fresh spices and herbs in your cooking!
If you have newer spices, you may want to adjust the spice level down to your preference as freshly ground black pepper and fresh ground dried ginger can be quite hot. Dried herbs and spices do lose flavor with time, so if you have some in your cupboard that are over a couple years old, get some new ones to get you through the upcoming seasons.
To give the soup more staying power, you’ll want some protein on the side as there is none in the recipe. The soup goes really well with chicken or even as a side to your eggs in the morning.
Whole30 compliant, AIP Paleo, and free of dairy, grains, and eggs.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon (mild) to 1 teaspoon (hotter) powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (if you’re not on AIP)
4 medium zucchini, about 2 pounds, chopped into 2” pieces
4 cups high-quality chicken broth
Head over to Mel Joulwan’s site to get the rest of the directions!