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I love making Surprise Soup as we head into early fall. The true name of this soup is Zucchini with Sage and Blue Cheese, but that’s so technical…and Surprise Soup sounds so much more fun. Zucchini is in season at the end of Summer, so this is the time to batch cook and freeze this soup to enjoy well into the chilly end of the year.
The Surprise Soup Story
When my daughter Piper was little she, like most kids I’m ashamed to say, avoided any type of vegetable in its whole state. One day she came home after school and I was making this Zucchini with Sage and Blue Cheese soup. Most of the time when my kids got off the bus they are starving. They are also on the verge of being sick from riding in the back of the windowless bus.
On this particular day she bursts into the house and she smells the most amazing thing on this planet. She comes over to the stove and she says, “whatcha makin’?” I knew at that point that I couldn’t say Zucchini with Sage and Blue Cheese soup. There was no way in heck she would even look at this amazing soup if it’s original form was bright green and had once been lying on the dirt.
Being the genius mother that I am, I remembered one of our favorite books about a bunny that is a picky eater. This mother rabbit refers to her vegetable soup as ‘Surprise Soup’ to her baby bunny, Clover. With lightening speed whit I tell Piper it’s ‘Surprise Soup’. She gives me a the look-the one that says ‘come on, Mooooommmmm!’ But she was so hungry that this day she let it slide. I put that first ladle of Surprise Soup in a small mug for her and the rest is history. She loves this soup and it will forever be a favorite in our home.
With some very simple ingredients and a quick blend with the immersion blender Surprise soup can be made in a matter of 30 minutes. Surprise Soup is great as a meal with a side salad and it freezes beautifully.
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup onion roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 3 pounds zucchini roughly chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tsp dried ground sage
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3/4 cup blue cheese crumbled
- Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion, garlic, and zucchini. Cook the vegetables over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 10 mins or until the water runs from the zucchini.
- Add the stock and cream and bring to a boil. Add the sage then salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for 20 min. At the cheese and stir until melted. Work the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth.
- Pour the soup through a strainer into a clean pan. Add the cream and reheat the soup gently, stirring all the time. Taste for seasoning. Serve hot, garnished with fresh sage leaves.
TIPSSometimes when I’m in a pinch I use frozen chopped onions- and I have used frozen zucchini before as well. Frozen produce doesn’t add nearly the same amount of flavor as does fresh produce. Nevertheless when you’re in a pinch you’re in a pinch and frozen will do….but only if you have to. I always double this recipe because it freezes beautifully. Once I have served this soup as a meal then I simply fill individual containers with the leftovers and place them in the freezer for a tasty lunch on another day. Serve this soup for a light meal or have it as a starter for a chicken or fish dinner with salad. By starting with this soup before a main meal you will start to fill your belly. When your main meal arrives you won’t be ravenous like a caveman and want to eat like you’ve been starving for days.
I had another thought….What if I dumped EVERYTHING into the crockpot (except the cream) and set it on low for 8 hours? Then when I got home I could use my immersion blender and add the cream….and wa la my soup would be done! I don’t even think I would really have to chop the zucchini or onion too small. I’m going to try that.
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