This recipe was adapted from the Caseus Fromagerie and Bistro Cookbook. The cool, smooth soup is extremely satisfying on a hot summer day. The tangy crème fraîche pairs beautifully with the sweet zucchini flavor of the soup, which is achieved by roasting the zucchini in the oven just long enough to concentrate the flavor. Make sure to use good, fresh zucchini, and cook it as soon as possible- to retain the fresh flavors and nutrients of the vegetable. Yellow summer squash could also be used. This soup is what summer tastes like- fresh, bright, cool, and flavorful. —lunalovegood
5 or 6
medium fresh zucchini
grapeseed or canola oil (Do not substitute olive oil- the onions may burn)
large Spanish onions, thinly sliced
cloves fresh garlic, peeled and crushed
good, dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crème fraîche (Try to use a fresh-tasting, local brand, or make your own)
of chopped chervil, basil, or cilantro (optional)
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the zucchini into even rounds, about 1/2 inch thick, and place on the pans. Pop them in the oven dry- no seasonings and no oil- for about 10-15 minutes. Watch them; make sure they don't burn. You're just trying to remove some of the moisture and concentrate the flavor.
In a large soup pot, heat the grapeseed or canola oil and the onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelized- this may take up to 20 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt. If they seem to be browning too quickly, turn the heat down a tad bit. You don't want them to get to dark- only golden.
Once the onions are soft and lightly browned, add your garlic and another pinch of salt. (Seasoning as you go helps build up flavor). Saute until garlic is soft, roughly 2-4 minutes. Add your white wine and deglaze the bottom of the pan by scraping up any fond from the surface. Let the wine reduce slightly, until it no longer tastes/smells of alcohol.
Add the roasted zucchini to the pot and season with a bit more salt. Top everything with water or good-quality chicken stock (or a combination) by about 2 inches.
Bring the soup to a gentle simmer, and cook for at least an hour. Let sit for another hour, off the heat, to allow to come down in temperature.
Blend in batches in a blender on high (be careful). Taste and season with more salt and freshly ground black pepper. Return to the cooking pot and bring to a simmer, and cook for at least half an hour to slowly reduce. Refrigerate for at least 5-6 hours, preferably 24 for maximum flavor.
To serve, ladle the cold soup into bowls and top each serving with a generous dollop of crème fraîche. Garnish with fresh chervil, basil, or cilantro, if preferred, and/or more freshly ground black pepper. Serve with toasted baguettes smeared with fresh chèvre cheese.