Puréed zucchini soup with curry [Photo/The New York Times]
Just the right amount of basmati rice contributes just the right amount of substance to this beautiful, light spring soup.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds zucchini, diced (about 7 cups diced)
2 teaspoons curry powder
6 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
1/4 cup basmati rice
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper (I like a lot of it in this soup)
Pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 small zucchini, sliced paper-thin, tossed with salt and, if desired, lemon juice, and marinated for 15 minutes or longer
Garlic croutons (optional)
1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until it is tender, about 5 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt, the garlic and the zucchini and stir for about a minute, until the garlic smells fragrant. Add the curry powder, stir together, and add the stock or water, the rice and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt.
2. Purée the soup with an immersion blender or a food mill or in batches in a blender, taking care to remove the lid or take out the center insert and to cover with a towel to avoid hot splashes. Return to the pot, heat through, add pepper and cayenne to taste and stir in the lemon juice. Serve, garnishing each bowl with paper-thin slices of zucchini, chopped chives and croutons if desired.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
Advance preparation: This will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator but tastes best on the day it's made. It can also be frozen.
Nutritional information per serving (4 servings): 146 calories; 4 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 22 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 60 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 7 grams protein
Nutritional information per serving (6 servings): 97 calories; 3 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 15 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 40 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 5 grams protein
The New York Times