Sunday, May 15, 2016

Creamy (Vegan) Zucchini and Leek Soup with Spicy Zucchini Chips for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Last week's Pickle Soup, while unique, comforting and delicious, was full of steps and ingredients. This week, I wanted something quick and simple and so I went to It's All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook by Gwyneth Paltrow with Thea Baumann. I like Paltrow's cookbooks because they generally contain a good amount of meat-free dishes, generally healthy recipes and a good selection of vegan and gluten-free and this new book (yes, I walked by the cookbook table at Costco again...) ;-) is no exception. There are chicken/poultry, fish, and even some bacon and pork belly dishes, but there is a definite lean toward the veg-friendly side. I have several recipes tagged to make but the Zucchini and Leek Soup caught my eye and my stomach first.

The recipe is tagged for 'summer nights' but here, local zucchini and leeks can be found year-round and everything else is easily found in the pantry. The original recipe has seven ingredients counting the water--I added a couple more--white pepper and lemon juice, as well as some spices for zucchini chips to top the soup. My changes to the recipe are noted in red below.

GP says, "If you have a Vitamix, this makes the most delicious vegan soup imaginable. Seriously, it's hard to believe that's it's made up of just seven ingredients, one of which is water. If only all spa food tasted like this! Garnish with torn squash blossoms or very thinly sliced zucchini for a little texture."  

Zucchini & Leek Soup
Slightly Adapted from "It's All Easy" by Gwyneth Paltrow
(Serves 4)

1/4 cup olive oil 
2 large of 4 small leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned and thinly sliced
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
4 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into 1/8" half-moons
1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste  (I used about 1 tsp)
pinch of chili flakes
(I added white pepper to taste and about 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice)

Heat olive oil in a saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and sauté leeks about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are soft. Add the garlic, zucchini, salt and chili flakes, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover the pan and allow it to steam about 10 minutes, or until the zucchini is just tender. 

Transfer the veggies to a high-speed blender with 2 cups water and blend until very smooth. (Deb's note: Since the steaming of the zucchini and leeks releases liquid from the veggies, I just added about 1 1/4 cups water blend so my soup would not be to thin. I'd recommend starting with 1 cup water with the liquid from the veggies and add more if desired.)

Taste for seasoning (I added white pepper and lemon juice for a pop of acidity). Serve hot or cold. Serve topped with thin slices of zucchini, zucchini chips (see note below), or spiralized zucchini noodles if desired. 

Zucchini Chips: I was going to spiralize zucchini 'zoodles' for this soup but instead decided to thinly slice the narrower zucchini end with my mandoline and make them into 'chips' in the microwave. To make the chips, I patted the slices dry with paper towel, lined a microwave-safe plate with a piece of parchment paper and made a single layer of zucchini slices. I used my oil mister to spray them very lightly with olive oil and sprinkled on a bit of sea salt, black pepper, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. Then I covered cooked them on high for about 3 1/2 minutes, watching them carefully to ensure they did not begin to burn. I then let them cool for a minute or two and cooked them for 1 more minute, until they were lightly-browned and chewy/crisp. The cooking times may very based on the power of your microwave so watch them carefully.

Notes/Results: Yum! This is a creamy, rich and nicely-flavored bowl of soup. If you are a home zucchini grower or benefit from the excess of friend's gardens, this soup is a great way to use them up. It tastes good both hot or cold too, so if things are too steamy this summer, it can be a refreshing cold starter soup. In tasting, both because I tend to reduce salt and I like a little brightness, I added some fresh lemon juice to the mix and like how it made the flavors pop. The slightly spicy zucchini chips were a nice touch in taste and texture to stir into the soup. This soup was quick to make and very tasty, I would definitely make it again. 

It was all about sandwiches at last week's Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays linkup. Here's a recap of what was shared.

Vicki of I'd Rather Be At The Beach made Mini Baked Ham Sandwiches and says, "I thought they were really good but had too much of a mustard flavor so next time I’ll use less dijon mustard. I like lots of meat and cheese so next time I’ll make sure I buy the right amount. And, even though we liked the ham and cheese, I’ll stand in that long line next time."

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor enjoyed dinner on the patio with mojitos and Chicken Quesadillas. (Sure, we count those as sandwiches here at Souper Sundays!) Tina says, "Don't you just love food you can eat with your hands? ... The cool thing about quesadillas is the number of ingredients you can use. So many different combinations of veggies, cheese and meat if you'd like it. For these I used a tiny bit of leftover shredded chicken, mozzarella cheese, sauteed onion, garlic and bell peppers."

Thanks to Vicki and Tina for linking up last week!

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.
On your entry post (on your blog):
  • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • you are welcome to add the wonderful Souper Sundays logo (created by Ivy at Kopiaste) to your post and/or blog (optional). 

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. I love zucchini and this soup looks and sounds really good.

    1. Thanks Vicki! And thanks for joining in SS this week! ;-)

  2. But what good this recipe , really very very inviting. Congratulations dear , a big kiss and good week BEGINNING ! Bacione Mirta

  3. Ok, I am finally sharing my salad with you! Love the look of this soup and I am glad you posted your notes about the process. I didn't think about thinning it put and how much liquid the steaming process would add.

    A Vitamax is on my wish list for one day. It would be amazing to have one.

    1. Glad you are sharing your salad Tina--I'll go take a look. My Vitamix is my most-used kitchen appliance for sure but I think any good blender would be fine for this soup. ;-)


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