Cold Zucchini Soup

With the temperatures having soared to the mid-90s for the past several days here in Chicago with no letup in sight, I decided it was time to make cold zucchini soup.  I remember the first time I had it as though it were yesterday.  My boss, Don, and his wife, Barbara, had invited me to go sailing with them.  I had never been on a sailboat before (or since!) and thought it would be great fun.  So, on a beautiful sunny July day, we sailed out from Marblehead (Massachusetts) Harbor to Manchester-by-the-Sea where Don was able to moor the boat so that we could have lunch.  Barbara had made cold zucchini soup, and it was the ideal thing to enjoy on that hot summer day.

On the way back to Marblehead, Don let me steer the boat for awhile.  We had to pass a few small islands jutting out of the ocean, and I remember Don saying to me, “Now, Fran, you’re not going to hit that island are you?”  Being blissfully ignorant of the possible land mass that lay beneath the water, I was surprised that he would say that to me.  I told him that, of course, I wasn’t planning to hit the island!  As I recall, he stayed pretty close to me and the wheel just in case.  I also remember that as he called out “port” and “starboard” to me it would have been easier if he had just said, “to your right” or “to your left.”  But that’s just landlubber me!

I called Barbara yesterday to tell her I was going to make and post her recipe for cold zucchini soup.  Then Don got on the phone, and we were trying to remember the name of the island I “almost” hit.  Last night, Don called me back and said that he had looked up his sailing log (he’s always been very meticulous about such things) and found that we had sailed about eight miles that day but he hadn’t recorded the name of the island (so, I couldn’t have come that close or he would have noted it!).  Then he told me that the date of the trip was July 19, 1981!  As I was planning to post the recipe today—exactly 30 years later, I had a little Twilight Zone moment (doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo).

So, call it kismet or call it fate—this cold refreshing zucchini soup was meant to be shared on this very hot July day with all of you!

Cold Zucchini Soup

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  • 2 large zucchini, sliced – with 4 slices reserved for garnish
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (light sour cream can be used)
  • 1 tbl. parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh dill (or 1/4 tsp. dried)
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 4 tsp. chopped chives for garnish


Place zucchini in saucepan, reserving 4 slices for garnish.  Add green pepper, onion, and chicken broth; simmer, covered for 20 minutes.  Strain vegetables, reserving broth.

Place sour cream, parsley, and dill in food processor.  Add cooked vegetables and process until smooth.  Add stock and again process until smooth.  Pour into bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Chill.

Finely dice the four reserved slices of raw zucchini.  When serving, add a dollop of sour cream,  the diced raw zucchini and chives as garnish.  Makes 4 servings.

Fran’s Notes: If you don’t have a large enough food processor, you may have to process the cooked vegetables and stock in batches.  Remember to vent the hot liquid in some fashion so that the steam doesn’t cause the top to blow off and spatter hot liquid.  I used my immersion blender and puréed everything right in the saucepan.  I use my immersion blender all the time—it’s one of my favorite kitchen tools!

Source: Slightly adapted recipe from my friend and former boss’s wife, Barbara

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