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Italian style zucchini and parmesan cheese soup

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It’s rare for me to feel constrained by ingredient supply or immature palates when I cook, but choosing a Neil Perry recipe to prepare for this month’s Cookbook Guru has been quite tricky.

I love soups and braises when the weather is cold and squally, dinner that will warm me to the tips of my toes, but the grandkids like to see their meat and veg side by side, with only gentle spice or subtle herb flavours. Perry is the master of “big” flavours and I like peace at meal times.

Compounding my indecision has been the deep winter slumber of our small coastal village. Mainstream grocery supplies and basic fresh fruit and veg is all that’s available until the tourists return.

These limiting options led me to Perry’s Italian Style Zucchini and Parmesan Soup, from a 2011 edition of the Good Weekend Magazine. It’s lucky I’d brought a good sized chunk of Parmagiano Reggiano with me from the city.

To comply with my FODMAP diet, I’ve modified the gut irritating onion and garlic component of the ingredient list and rather than losing the delicious fresh flavour of my entire, expensive out of season bunch of basil during cooking, I kept some aside to use as a chiffonade garnish and to freshen the flavour. The cream and butter, added exactly as specified by the recipe made the soup quite rich. Next time I’ll omit the butter and use lactose free milk for creaminess instead.

We enjoyed our warming bowl of Italian style zucchini and parmesan cheese soup for lunch, the kids were happy and I have a Neil Perry post to submit to the July Cookbook Guru hosted by Leah. It’s free, it’s fun and anyone can join with the other food bloggers from around the world as they cook and post about their experience with Neil Perry’s “The Food I Love.”

Now, back to the books to find a satisfying recipe for grown ups.
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750g green zucchini, cut into 1cm thick pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 spring onions, green tops only
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 bunch basil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1litre of chicken stock
125ml cream
40g unsalted butter, chopped
40g parmesan, grated, plus extra for garnish

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the zucchini, green onion tops and garlic. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the basil leaves and stock, cover the pot, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 10-15 minutes.
Thoroughly puree the soup with a stick blender.
Stir in the butter, cream and cheese.
Serve with a basil chiffonade garnish.
Serves 8

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

21 comments on “Italian style zucchini and parmesan cheese soup

  1. Leah
    July 11, 2014

    Reblogged this on The Cookbook Guru and commented:

    Our very first contribution of the month with a warming and luscious soup recipe that is sure to please the adults and kids at the table.
    Enjoy, Leah

    Like

  2. Leah
    July 11, 2014

    yum, this sounds delicious. I forget to make soup from zucchini’s, but with this luscious recipe I’m thinking I might have to add it to my list. love the photo. Reblogging this now for The Cookbook Guru.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 11, 2014

      Thanks Leah, leave the butter out, IMO it’s not necessary, but good zucchini soup is delish! Xx

      Like

  3. Claudia Anderson
    July 11, 2014

    That looks wonderful! I am looking forward to trying it. Soup from scratch is so much more rewarding, isn’t it?

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 11, 2014

      You’re so right Claudia, no manufactured soup ever tasted this good!

      Like

  4. Fae's Twist & Tango
    July 11, 2014

    I love butter in soups. Adding cheese gives a whole new demension too. Yum!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 11, 2014

      Butter in a soup was a first for me, it certainly made for a rich velvety texture

      Like

  5. ohlidia
    July 11, 2014

    Looks so yummy and full of goodness. xox

    Like

  6. My Kitchen Witch
    July 11, 2014

    Oh, so satisfying! I love soup and this one looks wonderful (and easy!). Surely, it was good for the adult palate as well? A true test for a cook is working with limited ingredients to hand and it looks like you came through with an A*.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 11, 2014

      Thanks Deb, you’re very kind. Yes it’s a soup for grown ups too, thankfully. I do find myself carrying bags full of ingredients from the city to the coast, just in case.
      Derby & Joan again after today, thanks goodness, the kids are stir crazy because the weather has been awful

      Like

  7. tinywhitecottage
    July 11, 2014

    I was thinking the same thoughts as Darya. But instead of decadent I was thinking luscious. This is a wonderful soup Sandra. I love soup anytime of the year.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 11, 2014

      Just read your corn soup post! I love soup too, there’s always some in the fridge for a quick lunch when the weather is cold. Zucchini soup is a personal favourite, it carries so many different herbs and spices brilliantly making it infinitely variable.

      Like

  8. Francesca
    July 10, 2014

    My Littlies love this soup too. I suspect you are back at the beachhouse- do I see lovely faded wooden boards in the back drop? How is the weather down there at AB? I am sure it is more pleasant than winter in Melbourne and a lovely bowl of soup would be perfect.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 10, 2014

      Yes we’re at AB. It’s been cold, very wet and also very windy, but we’ve managed a few walks in the sun on the beach. With the woodheater and soup, we’re keeping the chill at bay

      Like

  9. cheergerm
    July 10, 2014

    Great work on ‘kidlitting’ a Neil Perry recipe! Looks delish.

    Like

  10. Selma's Table
    July 10, 2014

    I take big city living so much for granted so it’s only when I read posts like yours that I remember what it’s like to have limited availability/opening hours/a few hours without sirens! Soup looks delicious and might be rather nice cold too. Keep meaning to join Cookbook Guru. This may be the month!!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 10, 2014

      I’m a city girl too and get quite frustrated with the winter limitations here, though really it’s a small price to pay for the beautiful holiday retreat in a pristine enviroment

      Like

  11. Darya
    July 10, 2014

    This is so decadent with the addition of butter, cream, and cheese. And… I love it! I never think of soup when I have zucchini on hand, but this sounds both nutritious, and delicious.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 10, 2014

      I usually just throw soups together, adding butter AND cream was new for me and the result was a rich silky soup

      Like

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This entry was posted on July 10, 2014 by in FODMAP diet, Food, Gluten Free, Light Savoury Dishes, Soup, The Cookbook Guru and tagged , , , , .
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