Zucchini soup

My work weeks have been so hectic now-a-days that every Saturday morning's farmer's market has become sort of like an unwinding kick-start-into-the-weekend ritual. Sipping a hot cuppa coffee and idly strolling through the stalls overflowing with fresh produce, fruits and flowers is meditating and exactly what I need to melt away the stresses of the week to get into my lazy relaxing weekend mode!  Have you seen how all the markets now a days are overflowing with summer squashes and zucchinis? I can never resist staring at those mounds and mounds of neatly arranged zucchinis and colorful squashes. This weekend I couldn't resist but buy a few fresh zucchinis, some leeks and a nice fresh celery.

Once I reached home I googled for zucchini recipes and finally settled on this zucchini soup from Kalyn. This soup had one more thing going for itself, it used rosemary; ever since I saw that bushel of rosemary growing in the backyard I have been itching to try it out in as many recipes as I can and this looked like a perfect one!
The soup turned out to be delicious. Zucchini and rosemary paired up really well! I did not blend the soup but instead crushed it using my potato masher. I like the bits and pieces of veggies floating in my soup :) Rosemary gave this soup a wonderful earthen woody flavor and lemon juice & zest gave it a wonderful lemony freshness. Definitely try this one before zucchinis go out of season.

Recipe: Serves 4
1 leek (white and tender green parts only)
3 large cloves of garlic - smashed
5 sticks of celery
5 zucchinis - chopped into small pieces
5C water
1Tbsp freshly chopped rosemary (or 1tsp dried)
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
olive oil
juice and zest of 1lemon
s & p

** I usually use water in my soups but feel free to substitute with vegetable broth or chicken broth. I find that sometimes broth overpowers delicate vegetable soups so I use water instead; but feel free to use your favorite broth.
** The key to any good soup is the simmering motion. Once the soup starts to boil, reduce heat as low as you can until its lightly bubbling. Boiling is usually a very vigorous motion for a soup and discouraged in general.
  1. Chop the white and tender green parts of the leek and wash them well (dirt gets trapped inside the leek leaves so its usually better to chop the leeks first and then wash to remove all the trapped dirt).
  2. Heat 1Tbsp olive oil in a large soup pot.
  3. Add leeks and smashed garlic and sauté until the leeks are tender.
  4. Add chopped celery and sauté some more.
  5. Next add the zucchini pieces, chopped rosemary, 5C water and enough salt.
  6. Stir well to combine and let the mixture come to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to barely simmer and simmer covered for 30mins until the zucchini is super tender and falls apart easily.
  8. Using a potato masher or an immersion blender, crush the soup slightly to desired final consistency. (I like my soup with lots of bits and pieces rather than a smooth puree; but if you like the puree run the soup through a regular blender).
  9. Add lemon zest and juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings per taste.
  10. Serve. Garnish with some more olive oil, red chili flakes, some chopped fresh zucchini pieces or some croûton.