If you’ve walked through a farmer’s market recently, you have probably noticed that zucchini is at its peak! There are so many varieties of this delicious summer squash, ranging in color from pale green to yellow to dark green! I made my obligatory zucchini bread, but still had more zucchini to use…yep, it was so pretty that I bought a ton of it…much more than I needed for one recipe! Enter Tomato Zucchini Soup…thanks Joy the Baker for the idea! I tweaked this recipe until it reached vegan perfection!
Something I love about soups is that I can basically throw everything into the pot, clean up the kitchen while it simmers, and then quickly puree it with my immersion blender. I LOVE my immersion blender! Minimal chopping, minimal time, minimal mess, happy mommy!
I made this soup twice in the last two weeks…once as a test batch for a Mommy/David meal while Irving was out of town, the following week for lunch with my girlfriends, and I shared leftovers with my mom who is a tomato soup aficionado! It was a hit each time…hope you enjoy it as much as we all did!
Tomato Zucchini Soup
1 T olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
3-4 carrots, roughly chopped
3-4 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
2-6 cloves garlic, peeled (I love garlic so I always load it up!)
3 medium zucchini, roughly chopped
2 pounds of fresh tomatoes (you could use canned, but they’re so yummy when they’re fresh!)
6 cups water
1 bundle of fresh basil, plus more to garnish
salt and pepper to taste
1 c panko bread crumbs
Start off with a large pot. Does it seem like your soups always multiply? Mine do, and I’ve finally learned to just bite the bullet and start off with a big pot rather than transferring later, and leaving myself with a bigger mess to clean up! Back to the pot…heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add a roughly chopped onion. Let it start to brown and add your diced carrot and celery in. Let these few ingredients brown for a few minutes until the onions start to get translucent. If it starts to get too brown, add a splash of water to deglaze the bottom of the pot and turn down the heat. All of that brown is just good flavor so don’t worry about it! Add the garlic in…whole cloves are fine. Toss the zucchini in for a minute on its own, and then toss the tomatoes in. Add 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper, as well as a bundle of whole basil leaves.
*Note: You can peel the tomatoes if you want. I tried it both ways and I honestly didn’t notice a difference with the peeled tomatoes, and it saved me a ton of time to throw them in with their peel still on!
Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and let it sit for about a half hour, stirring occasionally. Once the vegetables are tender (test by piercing a carrot with a fork), turn off the heat. Using your immersion blender, puree soup until desired smoothness. Once smooth, add salt and pepper to taste, and stir in panko breadcrumbs. Give it one more whirl with the blender and it’s done!
*If you don’t have an immersion blender, a regular blender or food processor will work just fine, but be careful not to splash yourself with the hot soup!
I served this with crispy croutons made from quickly toasting cubes of day old baguette drizzled with olive oil in the oven. I also sprinkled some fresh basil on top. Delicious!
Toddler serving suggestion: My son is 18 months old, and while he’s really getting the hang of using a spoon, soup is still pretty hard for him because it falls off so easily. I like to cook up a little bit of whole wheat pasta to mix in with the soup to give him something he can more easily pick up with his spoon. Rotini pasta works perfectly because the ridges pick up all of the soup. I also added some frozen peas to sneak one more good veggie in there for him. He loved it!