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Recipe Tue Jul 10 2007
My pal Rose had a dinner where her friend Elena (pronounced Elen-Ah) from Milan, Italy, prepared a fabulous zucchini soup from back home. "It was so fun," Rose told me as she made this soup for me. "She makes the best pizza in the world, too." Sauté the sliced onion in a pan with a thin layer of hot oil on medium heat. We used two spring onions from the farmers market instead of a grown-up medium yellow onion. Stir the thin onion slices around a bit to coat with oil, and when they're between translucent and lightly golden, add the sliced zucchini. Cover and let it sweat. After a few minutes, when the vegetables have softened a bit, cover with vegetable stock, or water if you're using bullion cubes. For the latter, Rose recommends sautéing three veggie bullion cubes in the olive oil when you start, before you add the onions, to infuse the oil with its flavor. Boil the liquid down, uncovered, until the zucchini is tender, when it succumbs to a piercing fork without resisting. Next, add parsley. Blend until just a little chunky.
(If you're using a traditional blender, don't fill it with hot soup. The heat combined with blending would force the soup up through the top and cause you a nasty burn. Wait for the soup to cool and then blend cautiously in batches with the blender less than half-full. Alternatively, insert an immersion blender into the pot. And to avoid splatter, have it submerged while it's whizzing.)
You want some texture so make sure not to blend the soup smooth. Stir enough pinches of salt to make the flavor full and vibrant. Serve warm, not hot, for maximum taste. Garnish with a momentary pour of olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, and a few parsley leaves on a stem. Any cold leftovers are refreshing on a hot day.
Milanese Zucchini Soup
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
Olive oil, enough to coat the pan plus some for garnish
3 medium zucchinis, halved and thinly sliced
Vegetable stock to cover, or water and 3 veggie bullion cubes
2 handfuls flat leaf parsley, stemmed and chopped
Salt until the flavor is full
Freshly ground pepper until you smell a hint of it
Immersion or conventional blender