It’s getting to be that time of year when zucchini starts to pop up everywhere. And if you have a garden with zucchini in it, you’ll start to feel suffocated by the little green monsters in the coming weeks.
While I have a garden, I don’t grow zucchini and I have a very specific reason why. Growing up, my parents had a huge garden. Not a farm, but a backyard garden (of course by most of my friends standards – mine included – it looked like a farm). The thing was huge! There were only 4 of us in our family, but by looking at our garden you would think that there were 10 or 12 of us living in that house.
Mom canned tomatoes, made her own ketchup (and canned that too), froze beans, peas and broccoli, made strawberry jelly and probably performed some other domestic hocus pocus on a homegrown vegetable I am forgetting. But then there were the zucchini’s. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that they numbered into the double digits. Not the number of zucchini we got from the plants (that number was in the hundreds), I’m talking about the number of plants.
While mom’s preparations rocked on most of the other vegetables…the zucchini was another story. There were only 2 preparations of that vegetable that she did to my liking: zucchini bread and zucchini chocolate cake. If you’ve never had either one of these delicacies, I highly recommend you try them – in a word, they are outstanding. But the dinner preparation of zucchini was a vegetable massacre the likes of which humanity should never see. Cooked in a pan with butter until the little slices of zucchini resembled slimy slugs. Of course the offending vegetable was then portioned out on our plates with the demand to eat it or not leave the table – ever. (Just ask my brother how long he had to sit staring at a plate of food while it was pitch black outside and the rest of us were getting ready for bed.)
Craig eats raw zucchini, so it’s only been a few years since I started eating it again and realized that I really enjoy it if it’s raw or prepared very simply. I got the idea for this soup from reading about a zucchini dish that’s served at a restaurant in a cold terrine format. The great thing about this zucchini soup is that it can be served either hot or cold. We ate it hot because it had gotten a bit cool out the night that I made it.
One of my girlfriends was lamenting to me about this “amazing” guy that she’s been dating but he keeps running hot and cold with her. One day they’re hot and heavy spending the entire day together going out for breakfast, lunch and dinner…going to art galleries and visiting open houses and talking about how perfect the yard would be for their future children. Then the next day she doesn’t hear from him – no phone call, text or even an e-mail. What gives? (BTW…I’ve been listening to this for over two years.)
Finally, I just couldn’t take one more weekend of her sleeping on my couch and crying about this rampant flip flopper. So we had a little heart to heart that went something like this.
Her: But I could see myself spending the rest of my life with him……..
Me: You mean like this? Where one day he’s hot for you and the next he’s MIA? Then you sleep on my couch every couple of weeks and bitch about him? Yeah, that sounds like a beautiful relationship. Wasn’t that the plot line to the last Nora Roberts romance novel?
Her: But we’ve named our future children…
Me: I hope you’ve named them Hide and Seek, given that he disappears on you quite regularly and you don’t seem to be able to find him.
Her: You’re so cynical! What am I supposed to do?
Me: You’ve got 2 choices here. 1) You can suck it up and just go along with this hot and cold game and accept him as someone you like to be with (when you can) and look for someone else that is more consistent and is looking for the same things in life that you are. OR 2) You cut the guy loose and realize that the more you go along with his hot and cold swings is reinforcing his behavior because you keep going back with him.
Her: But I think I can change him…
Me: Please see my cardinal rule about changing men.
Makes 4 servings
- 2 Pounds Zucchini
- 4 Ounces Goat Cheese (plus more for garnish)
- 1/2 Lemon Juiced
- Kosher Salt
- White Pepper
- Pecan Oil or Good Quality Olive Oil (for drizzling)
Peel zucchini and cut in half (or into the largest pieces that will fit into your pot).
Put zucchini in large pot and fill with water until zucchini is floating in approximately 2 inches of water.
Boil until zucchini slightly dents when pushed on with a wooden spoon.
Add zucchini to blender and puree. Add some of the zucchini water to the puree to thin to desired consistency. (Caution: processing hot food in a blender requires extra care. Hot foods expand when blended. Remove the cap from the hole in the lid and hold a dish towel over the hole. This will keep the hot food from splattering all over you and your kitchen.)
Return blended zucchini to pot (after you’ve poured out all of the water).
Add the goat cheese and stir until thoroughly melted and combined (you may need to turn the heat on to medium low for this step).
Stir in the lemon juice.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Divide soup into bowls and top with crumbled goat cheese and drizzle with pecan oil or good quality olive oil.