Make Ahead

Yellow Soup

August  3, 2020
2 Ratings
Photo by Meredith Schwartz
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Makes 1 quart
Author Notes

The first thing to know about this recipe is that its not really a recipe, it's a method. It’s the base for making magic happen.

This yellow soup wouldn’t have happened without Frank Prisinzano and his papazuke soup. I like to think of Frank as more of a food philosopher than just a chef. His instagram page is filled with genius “methods” as he refrains from using the word recipe (even me just writing this one out feels a little hypocritical to the overall message of his cooking).

Frank fills his story highlights with his methods and swipes them clean once they are full. Unfortunately the Zucchini Soup is not listed at the moment. Luckily, I made it as soon as I got my hands on some zucchini after seeing it. It was too easy to forget and too delicious to let go of.

Franks rundown -
5 ingredients:
Extra virgin olive oil

In his video he has boiling water and a big bowl of ice with a smaller bowl sitting inside (ice bath) at the ready. He heats up EVOO in a large pot, cooks the onion with a sprinkle of salt until translucent (no browning), adds the zucchini until it brightens in color, ladles the boiling water over the vegetables just enough to cover it, brings it to a quick bubble and lets the flavor meld. From there he transfers the vegetables with a slotted spoon to be blended up with more EVOO and some of the cooking liquid as needed, into the ice bath it goes with a sprinkling of salt to cool.

**The cooking process isn’t even 10 minutes total. He hardly cooks the zucchini and immediately chills it in an ice bath to preserve its natural green color and nutrients.**

It can be eaten cold or warmed up (I’ve enjoyed both) with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a crack of pepper.

The soup was smooth without having any cream. It was sweet from the quick melding of flavor. It was beautiful light and bright green naturally from the zucchini. It was so good I made it again, this time yellow. All I changed was the color of the zucchini and added corn.

The method is so pure it can be done with anything, just keep your colors consistent - in the fall I’ll be trying this with lets say carrot and pumpkin?

I recommend making a lot of this at once so your not dirtying your blender for one bowl, and I’m telling you - you’ll want more. I stretched it out to be two kinds of gazpacho, one with pico de gallo and the one pictured above. I also used it as a bed of sauce for Chipotle cauliflower steaks. Because there are no additional spices to the dish, it’s fun to get creative with it. Take this simple purée along to other dishes across different avenues of flavor depending on the cuisine you’re in the mood for, the herbs you have on hand, or anything you can think of! I must say though, I can’t deny that I enjoyed it best plain and simple with Frank’s recommendation of extra virgin olive oil and freshly cracked pepper.

Note* The measurements can be interpreted loosely, make what you can with as many of the veggies you can get your hands on and keep the colors consistent, nothing here has to be exact.

Deep thanks to Frank for this dish and his means of sharing it. If you’re in the Manhattan area go get a bowl from the man himself at Frank in the East Village
Meredith Schwartz

What You'll Need
  • 2 Ears of corn, kernels cut off the cob
  • 2-3 Medium yellow squash, cut into chunks
  • 1 Large sweet onion, cut into chunks
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Ice
  1. Start by preparing an assembly line because the soup comes together very quickly. Have separate bowls, one with the corn kernels, one with squash and one onion. Prepare an ice bath by filling up a large bowl with ice and placing a smaller bowl inside of it, the blended soup will chill here when its done. Cut or break the bare corn cobs In half to fit into a medium sauce pan, cover with a few cups of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Once the water is boiling, heat up a separate large pot with a generous coating of extra virgin olive oil. Once hot, drop in the onions with a dash of salt, cook and stir a few minutes until translucent, don’t let them brown. If the oil was too hot just move the pot off the burner as to not let the onions burn/brown/crisp. Add the squash and cook until their color brightens up, can cover and stir occasionally - but this happens quickly in a matter of a few minutes. Add the corn and stir.
  3. Ladle the boiling water over sautéing vegetables just enough to hardly cover them. Boil until you can see the flavors melding, the water starts to turn yellow. Don’t overcook, no mush.
  4. With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables into a blender with some of the cooking liquid (you can always add more for a looser consistency) start with an inch or two at the base of the blender. Add a good glug of extra virgin olive oil to the blender and blend until completely smooth. Pour the hot blended soup into the ice bath, sprinkle with salt and let it cool. (If you have a small blender and a lot of soup do this step in batches). Serve cold or warmed up with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a crack of black pepper (or go crazy with fresh toppings).

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1 Review

ortolan July 21, 2023
This is a life-changing recipe. I’ve made it every week since I discovered it a few years ago (I watched Frank’s YouTube video on his Papa Zuke method). It is the most simple soup recipe imaginable and yet it is also the most delicious. You absolutely need a high powered blender for it be as sublime as it is, but still. Try this soup method. It’s brilliant with carrot and ginger, butternut squash and roasted garlic, asparagus, and of course, zucchini and summer squash. I have started to use bone broth instead of water and always add a few garlic cloves, but even without broth and garlic it’s incredibly delicious. And even though the guidance here is not to brown the onions, don’t sweat it if they happen to brown a little (or even a lot). They will deepen the flavor a bit. The point to only cooking them until translucent is that this recipe takes so little time to table.