Everyone needs friends who are comfortable inviting themselves over.  I mean it.  I have definitely done it on {way} more than one occasion and love when it is done in return.

So when San Francisco had some serious summer weather, finally, I was thrilled that B’s friend Mike sent a text that said, “Drinks, your roof, 8:00.”  It was the perfect call, and if he wouldn’t have sent that text, we all may have missed out on margaritas on a perfect balmy night.

Summer Finally Arrived in SF

Ingredients for Zucchini Soup

And even though I love me a tequila evening, I knew we would need some sort of sustenance as well. With all the heat, I was craving a ceviche, but since I was only heading to the little corner market, I knew fish was out of equation.



On my way there, I remembered seeing a “spicy zucchini soup” recently on Simply Recipes, and decided that would be the perfect compliment to rooftop margs and a zippy guacamole.  And considering it takes little time to make (and with with an ice bath and a freezer, not long to chill) it would be ready before sunset.  The fact that summer offers an abundance of zucchini didn’t hurt the reasoning either.

Cheers to soaking up these last (or first) moments of summer and for friends making sure you enjoy it!



Zucchini Soup
Adapted from Simply Recipes

NOTES: The recipe below includes both the changes I made and the changes I will make next time I make this soup.  Here are the ones that will be made are and the reason:

  • The original recipe was called “Spicy Zucchini Soup” and I didn’t feel there was any spice.  I even used 1 jalapeño compared to Elise’s half, and either I had the whimpiest jalapeño in the world, or not surprisingly, I like more heat.
  • I was out of homemade chicken stock, and unless you have the real thing, I would use all water.  Store bought stock can be a bit overwhelming, and I felt it overpowered the flavor of the zucchini.  Plus, even though I will use it against my better judgment, I am never happy when I choose the store-bought version.

Elise’s note: If you are using extra large zucchini, scoop out and discard the seeds first. And if the skin is thick or tough, peel it and discard the peels.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped, about 2 cups (I had a mondo onion, so I only used about ¾)
1-2 jalapeño chile (seeds, stems and ribs removed), chopped (see notes, I prefer 2, or 1 with seeds)
3 chopped garlic cloves
2 pounds chopped zucchini (skin on), about 5-6 cups
1 ½ cups chopped day-old bread
4 cups water (or 2 cups homemade stock and 2 cups water)
¼ c. dry white wine
½ cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons chopped for garnish
½ cup fresh cilantro, loosely packed, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon high-quality finishing olive oil
kosher salt
freshly cracked pepper

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large  heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and jalapeño and sauté for 4-5 minutes until the onions are translucent, but not browned. Add the garlic and zucchini and sauté for another 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle with salt.

Add the bread, water and wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and add the chopped mint and cilantro (reserving the additional herbs for garnish). Purée the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth, working in batches if necessary, or use an immersion blender directly in the pot.

Return the soup to the pot (or serving bowl) and add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish chopped herbs, a drizzle of olive oil and because I had it, some fancy flake charcoal salt.

Serves 4 – hot or chilled. Keeps for a week in the fridge.