Chilled Zucchini Soup

Cold soup is perfect for the middle to end of summer. We're going to utilize the abundant supply of zucchinis in an interesting way here with a small amount of curry. We'll start with a bed of flavor and make this special by adding ingredients like tarragon and spinach.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

1 onion, large

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 shallot, peeled

Salt and pepper to taste

Stalk lemongrass

3 large zucchinis

2-inch lemon peel, pith removed (zest only)

1 teaspoon mild imperial curry

6 cups vegetable stock, divided

1 seedless cucumber, small

2/3 cup English peas, shucked

5 leaves of tarragon

1 cup baby spinach

2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Directions

  1. Preheat soup pot over medium-low heat. Peel and chop onion, then drizzle olive oil into the pot. Add onion to the pot, then roughly chop garlic and shallot; add to the pot. Stir the vegetables so they cook evenly and "sweat," about 5 minutes. Remove outer leaves of a stalk of lemongrass and bruise it with the back of your knife. Add it to the pot. Prepare the zucchini: Cut off and discard the ends, then cut each zucchini in half crosswise. Stand each half upright, then slice off planks of the green skin and and a bit of the white flesh, leaving most of the interior flesh for another use.
  2. Give the "sweating" onion mixture another stir, then add salt and pepper followed by lemon peel and curry. Add 3 cups of vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, thinly slice all the zucchini planks. When stock is simmering, add sliced zucchini, followed by remaining vegetable stock. Stir and bring back to a simmer. Meanwhile, trim ends of cucumber, then slice into ⅛-inch rounds. Set aside.
  3. Blanch the peas for garnish by bringing a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the peas to the water for only 10 seconds. Then, drain and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Meanwhile, remove soup from heat and pour into a large bowl to go into another ice bath. Add tarragon and spinach to the soup while it's cooling down in the ice bath.
  4. Once soup has chilled, remove lemongrass and lemon peel. Place soup in a blender. Add a drizzle of olive oil as the soup is blending. When soup is pureed and smooth taste to adjust the seasonings. Pour soup into a serving bowl. Garnish with goat cheese, peas and cucumber slices. Drizzle with additional olive oil.
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