Cold Cream of Zucchini and Watercress Soup

Total Time:
4 hr 55 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
4 hr
Cook:
35 min

Yield:
4 to 6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 pounds zucchini, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 cup packed watercress leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • Watercress sprigs, tough stems removed, garnish
  • Chopped chives, garnish
  • Cheddar-Pecan Crackers, accompaniment, recipe follows
  • Cheddar-Pecan Crackers:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
  • 1 cup packed grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Directions
  • In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 15 seconds. Add the zucchini, salt, and pepper, and cook until tender. Add the stock and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

  • Add the watercress and let wilt, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the thyme sprig.

  • With a hand-held immersion blender or in batches in a food processor, puree the soup. Return to the heat and stir in the cream. Heat gently and cook for 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, keeping in mind, that salt is less evident in cold foods.

  • Let cool and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 to 6 hours.

  • Transfer to a large thermos. To serve, pour into double-handled cream soup bowls or decorative cups. Swirl creme fraiche into each serving and garnish with watercress sprigs and chives. Serve with cheese crackers.

Cheddar-Pecan Crackers:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Into a bowl, sift together the flour, cayenne, and salt.

  • In another bowl, cream together the butter and cheese. Add the dry ingredients and mix together. Fold in the pecans and sesame seeds. Drop onto the baking sheet 1 teaspoon at a time, spreading gently to flatten into rounds. Bake until golden and crisp around the edges, about 15 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving, or serve at room temperature.

  • Yield: about 1 dozen

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes

  • Cook Time: 15 minutes


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