This soup is so creamy and silky - it tastes like it's full of cream. But it doesn't have a drop of dairy, except for a little butter, and olive oil can be substituted for the butter to make it vegan. It's also double-duty: it uses up any late-season zucchini or squash that may still be plaguing you.
If you are using very mature zucchini, its peel may give this a slightly bitter aftertaste, which we enjoy, but others may not. Peel the zucchini for a sweeter (and paler) soup.
Zucchini Garlic Soupmakes 1 1/2 quarts
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 white onion, sliced
8 to 9 large cloves garlic, sliced thinly
4 medium zucchini, about 1 1/2 pounds
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a heavy 4-quart pot over medium heat. When it foams, add the sliced garlic and onions and cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Keep the heat low enough that the garlic doesn't brown; you want everything to sweat.
When the onions are soft, add the zucchini and cook until soft. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer at a low heat for about 45 minutes.
Let cool slightly, then blend with an immersion blender until creamy, or transfer to a standing blender to puree. Be very careful if you use the latter; only fill the blender half full with each batch, and hold the lid down tightly with a towel.
Taste and season with ginger, salt and pepper. Like most soups, this is significantly better after a night in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld.
Re-edited from post originally published on October 3, 2007
(Images: Faith Durand)