Picture this scenario: You’re making a cream of vegetable soup, in this case zucchini, and you grab the half-and-half out of the fridge and start pouring it into the pot. Over a cup’s worth later you look at the container in your hand and realize…you’re pouring in buttermilk! You gasp, set the buttermilk down, and stare into the pot. Your mind’s dazed as you realize there’s nothing you can do. So you just stare at it blankly, give it a stir and say, “well, what’s done is done” and pull out the blender stick to puree it. Then with a “what the heck” you grab a spoon, dip into the pot, stick it in your mouth and then freeze…oh my gosh…this stuff is amazing!
That’s exactly what happened to me a couple of weeks ago and all I can say is hallelujah for kitchen accidents because this soup is simply incredible!
I was half tempted to title this recipe “(I Can’t Believe It’s) Cream of Zucchini Soup” because really, it’s quite stunning.
As I mentioned in a previous zucchini recipe post, we have so much zucchini in our garden this year. Way too much. And so I’ve been experimenting with different zucchini recipes as a way of using it all up.
This cream of zucchini soup was one of my experiments and the accidental addition of buttermilk raised it to a whole new level. What otherwise sounds like a very humble dish – cream of zucchini soup – becomes something gourmet. The fresh tartness of the buttermilk combined with a touch of sweet heavy cream, the buttery zucchini, and a sprinkling of gorgonzola is simply fabulous.
My brother hates zucchini and he really enjoyed this soup. So whether you love zucchini, are lukewarm, or hate it, I’m confident you’re going to really like this soup. So pull up a chair and bon appetit!
Tip for Home Gardeners: If you’re using zucchini that has grown really big, remove the seeds before using them in the soup. The bigger the zucchini’s get, the larger and harder the seeds become and you’ll have tiny hard bits of seeds in the soup. So just slice the zucchini in half and scoop out the seeds before proceeding.
Let’s get started!
Saute the onions in a stock pot until soft and translucent and beginning to turn golden. Add the garlic and saute for another couple of minutes.
In the meantime, chop up the zucchini.
Add it to the onions, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8-10 minutes.
Pour the contents into a blender or use an immersion blender to puree it. I’ve used my Cuisinart Immersion Blender for years and love it for purposes like these.
If you used a stand blender, return the soup to the pot. Add the broth cubes and dissolve. Stir in the buttermilk and heavy cream and heat through. Add salt to taste.
Spoon into bowls, sprinkle with some crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese, and garnish with a sprig of basil.
- 5 pounds zucchini, roughly chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 cubes chicken bouillon (vegetarians: use vegetable broth)
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese for serving
- Sprigs of fresh basil for garnish
- Heat the butter in a stock pot over medium-high heat and saute the onions until light golden, 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the zucchini, cover and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes.
- Add the contents to a blender or use an immersion blender to puree the mixture. If using a stand blender, return the soup to the pot.
- Add the salt and bouillon cubes and stir until dissolved. Add the buttermilk and heavy cream and heat through.
- Serve hot in individual bowls sprinkled with gorgonzola and a sprig of fresh basil.