Mom’s “Famous” Zucchini Soup Recipe

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My mom has an incredible garden that we fondly refer to as “Nana’s Secret Garden”. I don’t have a garden myself (nor should I with my two “brown thumbs”), but my boys love playing in her garden and eating fruit, berries and veggies (literally) off the vine. This time of year Nana’s Secret Garden is bursting with zucchini, some the size of my small children. It was from this prolific garden that my mom was inspired to create this recipe for zucchini soup. This soup is one of my favorite end-of-summer treats–it is creamy with a fresh, vibrant taste. In fact, this soup is so good that it was published in Sunset Magazine–which, basically, makes this soup famous. At least to me. And it really does deserve to be famous.

Well, I was at the grocery store yesterday trying to figure out what I’m going to feed my family this week (somehow it’s still a mystery to me. Every. Single. Week. You’d think that after years of cooking every single day I’d know what to make for dinner but, alas, I still wander the grocery store looking for inspiration, week after week). This week, my store had courgettes on sale–only I didn’t know what courgettes were. I have learned that there are many different names for things here in Ireland. As it turns out, courgettes are none other than the humble zucchini. And you know what that means? I get my zucchini soup, even though I’m thousands of miles away from Nana’s Secret Garden.

So here is my mom’s award winning recipe for zucchini soup. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

zucchini-soup-su-637683-lCurried Zucchini Soup

1 large zucchini (or courgette!)
1 large onion
1 head of garlic, peeled and separated into cloves
1 quart of chicken or vegetable stock
1 can coconut milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 Tablespoon curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
*instant mashed potatoes for thickening

In a large stock pot, sautee coarsely chopped vegetables and 1 cup of stock until the vegetables are soft. Working in small batches, puree the mixture in a blender, adding more stock to liquefy as necessary. Return vegetable puree to pot and add curry powder, salt and pepper. Simmer the mixture and add coconut milk and evaporated milk. Add more stock if necessary or, to thicken, add instant mashed potatoes.

*Since the zucchini come in many different sizes, you’ll probably need to adjust the amounts of stock and seasoning you use. Sometimes I also like to add some fresh herbs like basil at the very end of the cooking. This soup also freezes well for a taste of summer in later months.

…And, if you have LOTS of zucchini to use up, here are a few of my other favorite zucchini recipes:

Zucchini Fritters
Zucchini and Corn Tacos
Zucchini Bread
Roasted Zucchini and Tomato Pasta
Zucchini “Noodles”
Zucchini and Rosemary Frittata  

Holy Moly, Guacamole!

With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, I thought I’d post my new-favorite recipe: Holy Moly, Guacamole! Alright, it’s not actually called “Holy Moly Guacamole”, but it’s so dang good that I can’t help but think to myself, “holy moly–this is INCREDIBLE!” every time I eat it. I got this recipe from a friend and it really is the best guacamole I’ve ever had.

This is your classic guacamole, with a few twists that really set it apart. It has two “secret” ingredients (curry powder and chopped dates) that really highlight the sweet and spicy flavors that I always seem to crave. This recipe makes about 3 cups of guacamole, plenty for sharing. Which is a good thing, because once your friends get a taste of it, you’ll be doing a LOT of sharing!

GuacamoleDip

Guacamole

3 medium avocados, pitted and chopped
1 Tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed or pressed through a garlic press
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 Medjool dates, diced (could use any dates)
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro

Put the avocados in a bowl and smoosh them around a bit with a spoon until you reach your desired consistency (chunky or smooth–I like mine mostly smooth with a few small chunks). Add the rest of the ingredients to your avocados and stir to combine. Serve with chips (Juanita’s are my favorite brand) or veggie slices for dipping. You may even want a Margarita on the side 🙂

*Tip* Leave one of the avocado pits in your guacamole–it will help keep it from turning brown. Store leftover guacamole (if there IS any left over!) tightly covered in the fridge.