This time of year, the zucchini is out of control. Enormous fruits that seem to grow 6 inches or more each day, even of the delicious Costata Romanesco heirloom variety, that reputedly produces lower yields than hybrids. What to do? Soup, cake, pancakes, gratins, and raw “pasta” all beckon.
This soup was inspired by The Veggie Queen, one of today’s leading pressure cooking experts and is helping us cope with the Sas-Squashes that threaten to take over the garden! Simple to prepare, it is creamy and satisfying and paired with a fresh summer tomato cucumber salad and some fresh bread, it’s a light and satisfying meal. Note that though this recipe uses a pressure cooker to make it super-speedy, you can also extend cooking time and use a standard pot.
½ Large Onion, diced
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
4 Cups Zucchini (or other type summer squash), cut into 1-inch chunks
2 Tbsp. Moong Dal (or other small lentils such as red lentils, etc.)
¼ Cup Nutritional yeast
2 Cups Vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. Ground Flax Seed (Optional)
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Smoked Paprika
¼ Cup Fresh Basil leaves, loosely packed
Step One: In a pressure cooker, sauté the onion in the olive oil for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute.
Step Two: Add the zucchini and sauté about 2 minutes, until juices are flowing.
Step Three: Add the moong dal or lentils and broth and bring pressure cooker to high pressure. Cook at high pressure for 4 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally. If you aren’t using a pressure cooker, bring to a boil then turn down and simmer gently for about 25 minutes, until dal or lentils are soft.
Step Four: When soup base is cooked, stir in the nutritional yeast, salt, paprika and ½ of the basil. You can also add the ground flax is using.
Step Five: Using an immersion blender, blend soup until creamy. Adjust seasonings, adding more spices to taste.
Step Six: Pour into bowls and garnish with remaining basil leaves. For more flavor, you can slice the basil into fine shreds.
Enjoy with fresh bread and a salad.