Two weekends ago, the same weekend I purchased that watermelon I was telling you about last week, I stopped by the farm stand of a lady and her husband who are always adding value to my farmer's market shopping experience. Invariably, they share recipes with anyone willing to pick them up. I typically grab one, but I don't always follow through with trying them out. This time was different. I think what made it different was the fact that the nice lady told me that this zucchini soup is REALLY easy to prepare. Anything quick and easy I'm all for! I glanced at the recipe just to make certain that I agreed with her. It checked out. It was legit easy.
Before leaving her stand I decided to buy one of her large zucchinis since I already had one at home. I'd actually gotten the one at home to roast with other veggies to make a veggie spaghetti sauce and had forgotten I had it. It didn't make it in the sauce. Anyhow, a few days later I made the soup and LET ME TELL YOU....as my dad would say, "It'll make your tongue beat your brains out!!!" It was THAT good!
Since I want you to know what this luscious soup is like, I share the recipe with you! It is amazingly rich and creamy and filled me with the essence of Fall.
Enjoy! (the 2nd version is my version)
Oh, if you enjoy it, and even if you don't, but you know someone who would, pass this recipe along!
Easy Zucchini Soup
How I received this recipe from the nice lady at the farmers' market:
1/2 cup butter
2 lbs zucchini, cut into chunks
1 (15 oz) can of chicken broth (or 2 cups of chicken bouillon)
1 tsp salt (if using bouillon cubes, omit salt)
1 tsp curry powder
1. Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Add zucchini, chicken broth, salt, and curry powder to the pot; cook until the zucchini is soft, about 15 minutes.
2. Pour soup into a blender no more than half full. Cover and hold lid in place; pulse a few times before leaving on to blend. Puree in batches until smooth.
This is how I altered it:
prepare it this way and you'll know what I experienced...I think the coconut oil does something special to it!
1/2 cup coconut oil, in liquid form
2 lbs zucchini, cut into chunks
15 oz Kitchen Basics Unsalted Vegetable Stock for Cooking
1 tsp salt
1 tsp curry powder, did not measure exactly, so I think I probably had a bit more.
1. Add liquid coconut oil to a pot over medium heat. Add zucchini, unsalted vegetable broth, salt, and curry powder to the pot; cook until the zucchini is soft, about 40 minutes...I was on the phone with my mom so I let it cook down a bit longer :-) It really only takes 15 minutes.
2. Pour soup into Vitamix. Cover and blend. Puree in batches until smooth if necessary.
A couple of more days until we fall out of the summer months and into Autumn. I haven't eaten nearly as much watermelon this summer as I should have! But I must say the one watermelon I did eat was very tasty and sweet!! I’m actually embarrassed to admit that I can only recall eating from ONE single watermelon this summer - but I did buy another one yesterday and one last week!
Before I know it, I'll have to wait until next year to eat sweet, sweet, watermelon. Before you know it, you will too. Soon the green spotty-striped melon will no longer be in the grocery stores; at least not here in the U.S. I’ve never grown a watermelon before, but did you know that it takes 70 to 90 days of good summer heat to produce all that sweet goodness?!? Yes, roughly 3 months and a soil temperature above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Who knew?!?
I don’t know about you, but there is almost nothing worse than biting into a piece of fruit that is NOT sweet. Especially if you’re expecting it to be. Ok, there are worse things, but I always find it such a letdown when that happens to me. I was on the phone with a customer service technician from Go Daddy today and we started talking about Labor Day weekend plans while we waited for one of my domain names to process. I mentioned that we might head to the apple orchard this weekend and he started talking about a peach blossom festival out in his neck of the woods. That led him to share how he now cuts his peaches instead of biting into them like an apple so he doesn’t risk expecting a nice, sweet, juicy, piece of fruit only to be let down by something less than tantalizing. I guess he figures if he cuts it into pieces he won’t be tempted to bite directly into a boring peach.
While there is still time, get to the store fast! Better yet, visit your local farmer’s market, and grab yourself a nice watermelon and be prepared to make yourself some watermelon soup! If you DON’T have any seedless watermelon do not plan to make this one this weekend because you WILL labor! Last year I picked up a very large watermelon from our local farmer’s market and THEN came home and looked for a recipe. Kind of backwards, but I made it work. Well actually my husband made it work. I really DID intend to make the watermelon gazpacho myself, but that same day I was running errands and taking the kids to doctors appointments all day, so I called home and asked Vince if he’d do the honors in my absence. He said, “Sure!” How sweet of him ;-)
Vince is always very helpful in the kitchen with cooking and washing the dishes, but the one thing he can NOT stand is prepping lettuce for a salad! The kind that is not prewashed and in a bag. Ha, ha, ha! It can be kind of aggravating sometimes, especially when I’m elbow deep into something else and the salad is that only thing I still need help with. I seriously have to think hard about something he dislikes in the kitchen more than that. I don’t quite get it, but oh well.
Anyhow, when all was said and done he reported that it took him 3 hours to make the gazpacho!!! Yikes!! With all of the cutting and dicing and seed removal, his fingers looked like raisins when he was done. I think if we had the right tools (didn’t think to remind him of our mandolin) AND a seedless watermelon, it wouldn’t have been so bad! But it tasted sooooo good and so fresh! Thank you Vince!!
Now, this is not the recipe he used, but it is probably my favorite of the two. Plus, it is less labor intensive than what Vince experienced.
5 cups of seedless watermelon, cubed
2 cups of mango, peeled and diced
1/4 cup of lime juice
3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tbsp agave nectar or honey depending on your preference
a pinch of ground cardamom
•Place 3 1/2 cups of watermelon and 1 cup of mango into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth (I like using my Vitamix for this!).
•Dice up the remaining watermelon and mango into tiny pieces and add to the puree.
•In a separate bowl, combine the mint, ginger, lime juice, and agave nectar and pinch of cardamom. Add this to the ingredients in the previous steps and stir well.
•Chill and serve.
Adapted from Eating for Energy by Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN
Final thoughts: Did you know that watermelon contains cucurbitacin E, or tripterpenoid, which blocks the activity of the pain and inflammation-causing enzyme cyclooxygenase – the same enzyme blocked by COX-2 inhibitor drugs!! What is a COX-2 inhibitor drug? Find out more HERE. One that most people are familiar with, thanks to commercials, is celecoxib, aka Celebrex. Celebrex is most often prescribed for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, menstrual cramps and injury-related pain.
Shoot me a note or post a comment below! I’d love to hear from you! Especially if you try this recipe out. By the way, how do you eat your watermelon? On the rind? Cut off the rind? With salt? In a fruit salad? Do you trash the rind or have you found other uses for this Vitamin B and C packed part of the melon? What’s your favorite watermelon recipe you’d like to share?
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Allison Marschean is a wife and mother of 8 year old twins girls and a 2 year old baby girl who is kicking an autoimmune disorder to the curb with food and fitness, all while living her dimensions!