Smoky Zucchini Soup with Charred Poblanos + Focaccia Croutons
When I first tasted the texture of this soup, I couldn’t believe that there wasn't any cream or cheese! The true flavor of the zucchini really shines through with a little kick from smoky poblano peppers. This a great recipe to use up those garden monsters, aka the summer zucchini that won't stop taking over your garden.
I aIways finish this soup with a bit more black pepper, but I like that subtle bite from ground white pepper and ground ginger in the base of the soup. A handful of fresh basil at the end amps up the bright green color, allowing us to stretch out those summer flavors just a little bit longer.
2 poblano peppers
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large zucchini, halved, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
4 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
1 small loaf focaccia or other crusty bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
Set poblanos directly over a gas burner on a low flame, or place on a rimmed baking sheet under the broiler of an oven, char the skins of the poblano peppers, about 1 minute per side, rotating frequently, to evenly char the outsides. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
In a large soup pot over medium heat, add the butter and allow it to melt. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the onion, and sauté for 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the seeds and stems from the poblano peppers and roughly chop them.
Add the garlic to the soup, sauté for an additional 2 minutes, then add the poblano peppers and the zucchini.
Stir in the spices to combine, and cook the vegetable mixture for 6 minutes.
Stir in the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the croutons. Cut 1 inch slices out of the focaccia loaf, then chop into small cubes.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil then toss in the croutons and toast on all sides. Stir frequently to evenly crisp the focaccia cubes, about 4 minutes. Place in a separate bowl until ready to garnish the soup.
Remove the soup from the heat, toss in the basil, and using an immersion blender, purée the soup until fully blended. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper if you like.
Ladle into individual bowls, garnish with the croutons, and serve immediately