Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's Summertime and time for Mark Bittman's Zucchini and Dill Soup

  It's summertime, summertime... sum, sum, summertime, summertime! I know someone out there other than myself has to remember that song. Okay I know, corny. But hey, it is summer, officially.

  And this week at IHCC , we are celebrating summer with Summer Lovin , with a summertime recipe from Mark Bittman .
  While I was at the farmers market I couldn't help but notice an abundance of these beautiful little zucchini. These have to be one of my favorite summer vegetables; summer squashes. I love them all. I especially love them when they are picked while they are still on the smaller size as they are so much more tender.
  I chose to make this refreshing Zucchini and Dill Soup from Bittman's last book, Kitchen Express - 404 Inspired Seasonal Dishes. In his introduction for this book, Bittman states "it's long been my belief that the most specific recipes are the most limiting" and also he says "to try to force cooks to follow recipes robs them of the ability to improvise, to relax, to substitute, to use their own judgement". Sounds like good advice for me to try and practice, since I am a recipe follower, and I seem to have no imagination what-so-ever when it comes to cooking. I think I read my cookbooks and cooking magazines as if they were novels and if I find something that sounds new, different, or interesting to me, (I have a very limited repertoire of foods that I have been eating and cooking, ever since I can remember) I run right out and get the exact ingredients that are specified in that recipe.

Well, I finally stepped out of the box! Ah, no really I just changed the box.
I didn't have chicken stock in the box and didn't think to thaw my homemade stock.
I did have white wine and herb stock in the box (main ingredient is chicken stock) 
on hand and threw caution to the wind .

I sauteed the onion in butter until soft, then added the
grated zucchini and cooked it until softened.

Added stock and brought to a boil, then reduced the heat and simmered
for about 5 minutes. Next I pureed it (cool a bit before adding to the blender) 
until it was smooth and retuned to pan to reheat.

Zucchini and Dill Soup
Re-created from Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express


Grate a couple of zucchini. Cook a chopped onion in butter until softened, then add the zucchini and stir until softened, five minutes or so. Add vegetable or chicken stock and bring to a boil; simmer for about five minutes, then puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and lots of fresh dill.

Notes: I used the white wine and herb stock and I added some fresh dill to the soup while simmering for an enhanced flavor. I also saved a 2 inch piece of zucchini and cubed it, then sauteed it in a little oil. I used this to 'set' the sour cream dollop on and then poured in some of the pureed soup around it. I find this soup best sserved at room temperature, and I think it might even be a good chilled soup.
I think I will sprinkle a little parmesean cheese over the last bowl that is awaiting me for lunch in the fridge.

Give it a try and add your own spin. I know I'll be trying a few variations of this over the summer.

I am submitting this to I Heart Cooking Club's-Summer Lovin


and to


Carla and Michael


  1. That white wine and herb stock must have made a difference from using plain old chicken stock. Yummy! I like this recipe very much :-)

  2. I have that cookbook so I'll definitely be making this lovely soup very soon.

  3. I love Bittman and his philosophy!! Your soup looks awesome :D

  4. Such a simple soup but packing such delicious flavors! I love this! Light and summery.

  5. This is definitely perfect for the imminent zucchini invasion!

  6. I have had this one tagged to make--it looks wonderful. I would think it would be an excellent cold soup. Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays. ;-)

  7. Zucchini is "one" of my most favorite veggies. I have never made a soup with it. Looks like I will now. It looks delish!

  8. This soup looks great and I love having another way to use zucchini.

  9. I love my Kitchen Express book because it gives you room to make the recipe your own. Dill is one of my most favorite herbs and I bet it gives great flavor to this soup.

    Looks terrific!!

  10. The soup sounds delicious. I too love summer squash and tend to like them on the smaller side also!

  11. This looks amazing. I love those tiny, little zukes, too. So glad you featured this recipe. I bought this cookbook blind for a recent MLLA giveaway. Now I know I made the right choice.


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