Zucchini and leeks combine to make a wonderfully green soup. Light and refreshing, this soup can be served hot or cold, but being ever so Irish, I like it hot.
Inspired by the more traditional Irish recipe for potato and leek soup, I love to make this soup when I have lots of zucchini on hand. Or perhaps I should give this soup its European name, courgette and leek soup.
I remember when I first came to America, I had no idea what on earth a zucchini might be. I remember searching for courgettes in the grocery store only to spot them under the strangely named sign “zucchini”.
And then I checked a little closer and discovered that what I called an aubergine bore the strange title of “egg plant” in the good old USA.
My ongoing American evolution continued at the grocery store with never ending culinary lessons and naming tips.
At the end of every summer I often hear my green thumbed neighbors searching for zucchini recipes, when they are blessed with an abundant crop of these nutritious and easy-to-grow vegetables. This soup is my answer to their recipe pleas.
And so without further ado, here is my recipe for zucchini and leek, or courgette and leek soup.
Remember, it’s green coloring makes it perfect for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
4 medium zucchini (washed and sliced)
1 large leek or 2 small leeks (washed and sliced)
2 oz butter
1 carrot (peeled and sliced)
1 potato (peeled and sliced)
6 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper to season
1/4 cup whipping cream
parsley (to garnish if desired)
Prepare the vegetables carefully. Leeks can contain dirt trapped between the inner layers of the vegetables, so it’s very important to wash them well. If you need some tips on how to wash and prepare leeks check out my recipe for potato and leek soup.
Melt the butter over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or pan.
Add the sliced vegetables and stir to completely cover them in butter. This coating of butter is important for sweating the vegetables and helping them to not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Cover the pot and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes to sweat the vegetables.
Shake the pot occasionally to prevent the vegetables from sticking. It’s important not to brown the vegetables, but merely to soften them in the steamy pot.
Add the chicken stock and season with salt and pepper to taste. You can use vegetable stock for this soup too if you prefer vegetarian recipes. I like the taste of chicken stock with the leeks, but the choice of stock is completely personal.
Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the soup for 20 minutes. Remember, gentle heat is very important for cooking soups.
When simmered enough, the vegetables will be fork tender. The trick to a nicely textured soup is to cook the zucchini and the leeks long enough to make them nice and soft before whizzing them with the blender.
Add the cream and stir well to blend completely. Reheat over a gentle heat without boiling.
Serve this soup warm or cold, and garnish with parsley if desired.
But whether you like your soup all on its lonesome, or with a nice slice of bread, I hope you enjoy this zucchini and leek soup as much as I do.
Here’s the printable recipe: