I don't have many recipes that I make over and over again, preferring rather to keep experimenting and trying new dishes. There are so many delicious things to eat it's hard for me to keep eating the same old things. Sometimes. This soup is one of the few exceptions to that rule. It's been in my repertoire since I started cooking post-college. It's incredibly versatile, healthy, quick and economical. It can be eaten hot or cold. It can be made with summer or winter squash. What more do you want from a recipe? Not much. You can see why even if I wanted to move on from this soup and leave it in the past, it would be difficult.
The original recipe, that I often make without much variation to it came from a short-lived but much beloved food magazine, Taste. It was an oversized glossy filled with beautiful photos of gorgeous places and foods around the world published by Williams-Sonoma . That was the first time I mourned a magazines demise. Gourmet was the second (cue the heavy sigh).
Zucchini-curry soup as the recipe called for was served cold and as a first course. My version of zucchini-curry soup is served hot over rice (of any type) and as a one-dish meal, perfect for lunch or a light dinner. This has been my go-to meal for many, many years. In fact, I spent one week of being unemployed years ago eating this for lunch and dinner in its various forms, hot and cold, with rice and without. It didn't let me down. I have even seen the recipe re-purposed in a Williams-Sonoma soup cookbook, where it was prepared with fresh oregano in place of the curry. I like curry way too much to bother switching it out, but I assume it's safe to try other spices if curry isn't your thing.
Now that it is November, winter squash is more likely what you may have on hand, instead of zucchini (which is what I had this weekend). I think any type of squash and curry are a natural pairing. To keep the soup seasonal, merely roast winter squash (acorn or butternut perhaps) for an added layer of flavor rather than cooking it in the stock, and then mix with the rest of the ingredients before pureeing. Now you have a basic blueprint for a squash soup than can be adapted into a Spring-Summer soup, or an Autumn-Winter soup and that's all the reason you need to make this soup over and over again.
Zucchini Curry Soup
Adapted from Taste magazine.
1 large onion, cut in half and sliced thin
2 tablespoons, olive oil
2 teaspoons, curry powder (I use Madras-style curry)
pinch of sea salt or kosher salt
4 zucchini, sliced into thin rounds (or about 2 winter squash)
4 cups, chicken stock (although vegetable would be fine too)
plain yogurt for garnishing
In a large pot, combine onion, olive oil, curry powder and salt. Stir over low-medium heat until onions soften, about 3 minutes.
Add stock and zucchini. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened. (If using winter squash, roast them first at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes with a little olive oil, scoop out flesh and add to put of onions and stock instead of this step.)
Puree vegetables and stock with an immersion blender or in a regular blender in batches, until it is a smooth texture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of yogurt on top.