Zuppa della Gugutza Gigante
(Giant Zucchini Soup)
This soup recipe came about as a result of a trip to Arizona. We had six zucchini plants in The Artisan Garden, and were determined to pick the zucchini when they were small and tender, or to use the flowers in various recipes, thus reducing the prodigious yield one usually gets with Zucchini. Our situation changed and we needed to travel for eight days. Upon our return we had six 4-6 pound zucchini growing. They had sucked all the energy from the plants and were the only zucchini attached to the now overburdened plants.
Needless to say we had failed to accomplish our goal. Undaunted, however, we decided to make the best of an interesting situation. This soup is the first recipe to result from what we refer to as "The Invasion of the Zucchini Body Snatchers". (The giant zucchini looked like the pods in that great movie "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers" Guess our age is showing!
5 Lb. Very, Very large Zucchini - Gugutza or Cucutza (dialect dependent) 3 Lb Very large Zucchini 1/2 Lg. Onion - Red: chopped coarsely 1 Tbl. Olive oil - extra virgin 1 Cup Mushrooms - Large white - chopped 2 Cups Chicken stock 2 Cups Yoghurt 1 Tsp. Butter 2 Large Eggs-one yolk and two whites 1/8 Tsp. Coriander - powder 1/8 Tsp. Cumin - powder
Preparing the Soup
Slice the largest zucchini in rounds, and grill them on either an indoor or outdoor grill. This can be done dry, as no olive oil or other grease is necessary. Salt them as they come off the grill and allow to cool. Once cooled, chop them into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces. Grate the second zucchini - unpeeled - on the large holes of a box cheese grater. Set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large soup pot, and then add the grilled zucchini and the red onions. Sauté for about 2 minutes, then add the grated zucchini and stir well. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until all of the zucchini have softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes more. Add the chicken stock, then add the yoghurt and stir. Allow this mixture to cook for 10-20 minutes over medium-low heat.
Remove from the heat and purée the entire soup in a food processor. Add the teaspoon of butter and the whole egg plus on egg white. Process for 30 seconds. Using either a Foley Mill, or a strainer (A Settacio in Italian), pass the soup through to remove all but the smallest pieces of vegetables.
Pour the strained soup in to a shallow saucepan. Add the coriander, the cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat gently for 10-20 minutes.
Serve. Garnish the soup with 2-3 fresh basil leaves. Good Italian bread goes well with this soup, if you can find it. Otherwise serve with the best bread you can find.
Last updated on:06/22/04 09:00:25 AM