Creamy Summer Squash Soup

Creamy Summer Squash Soup

We have had so much summer squash on hand that I was starting to get desperate for a new way to use it up FAST.  You know how it goes; summer squash is as prolific as bunnies.  Truth be told, though, I really like summer squash, especially yellow crookneck.  I have fond childhood memories of it being sliced, salted and peppered, then dredged in flour and fried.  What can I say…in those days everything in the South was fried.  I wonder what the history of that was all about?  Anyone know? 

Anyway, as I was saying, I needed something new to do with the mountain of summer squash that had overtaken my counter top and refrigerator.  There was, of course, the ever present zucchini, two varieties of yellow squash, and several varieties of patty pan squash.  A summer squash soup seemed like it would be a nice change of pace from my usual use-up-the-squash recipes and both John and I really liked the results.

Creamy Summer Squash Soup

Pureed, the squash serves as it’s own creamy thickener.  It’s mild, sweet flavor is enhanced by sauteed onions, finely grated sharp cheddar cheese, smoked paprika, fresh basil, thyme, and a little bit of crispy fried bacon.  Oh, and salt and pepper of course.  Where was the world before salt and pepper?  Oh yeah, it was called The Dark Ages.

And speaking of the Dark Ages; I have a food processor that is about 25 years old.  It has been a great little work horse, but yesterday when I was processing this soup the bowl to the food processor cracked and the soup started oozing out of the side of the bowl and down onto the counter top.  No, I don’t have a picture because frankly taking a picture of the mess was not on my to-do list at that moment.

Making up a new recipe sometimes takes up the whole entire kitchen as I go through using up every dish in the joint.  I do that as I figure out what is going to work best.  Ideas come to me as a I work and I’m telling you this–I am an extraordinarily messy cook.  I can’t help it.

So, when the food processor bowl cracked, I bellowed at John and told him as long as he was hanging out in his favorite chair with his computer in his lap and watching TV, would he please check on-line and see if I could buy a new bowl.  He sat there snickering at me, but merrily checked and sure enough I could still buy a new bowl.  For $40.00.  Plus the top of the bowl, which is also starting to crack, for another $35.00.

Hmm.  Thank you Cuisinart for still making the parts.  Any possibility of you maybe giving me some new parts if I say nice things about how great this food processor has been and how I wouldn’t trade it for anything and how I never imagined I would like a piece of kitchen equipment so much?  Any possibility at all?  Or should I just buy a food processing attachment for my work horse of a Bosch mixer for $100.00 which includes blade attachments and several grating/slicing disks?  So many decisions.

Creamy Summer Squash Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

A great way to use up your summer squash bounty, this soup is extra flavorful with the additions of bacon, smoked paprika and cheddar or Parmesan cheese.

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/3 cup rough chopped fresh basil leaves (dried basil is not a good option)
  • 8 cups chunky cut summer squash (any combination of zucchini, yellow squash, patty pan, etc.)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (1 teaspoon if using fresh thyme)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/3 cup light sour cream (optional)
  • 6 ounces (weight) sharp cheddar cheese (or to personal preference)--for a different flavor, replace the cheddar cheese with 4 or more ounces (weight) of Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven or other large pot, fry the chopped bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels. Set aside, crumble when cool enough to handle.
  2. In the Dutch oven, reserve 1-2 tablespoons of bacon fat; cook the onion in the reserved bacon fat until translucent. Stir as needed to keep the onions from browning.
  3. Add the chicken stock and the squash to the onions in the Dutch oven. Simmer until squash is tender.
  4. Remove from heat. Working in batches, in a blender or food processor, puree the squash, onions, and fresh basil. Note: When working with hot products, make certain that the blender lid is vented in order to prevent a steam build-up hazard. A good immersion blender may also be used to puree the ingredients.
  5. Return the puree to the Dutch oven and stir in the thyme, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and sour cream (if using) until well blended. Over medium heat, warm the soup until steam begins to rise, stirring as necessary.
  6. Once the soup is hot, add the cheese and stir until cheese has melted.
  7. To serve, sprinkle soup with smoked paprika, cheese, minced basil, and bacon crumbles.
http://tsgcookin.com/2011/08/creamy-summer-squash-soup/

 

Creamy Summer Squash Soup

Comments

  1. says

    Thank you, Susan, for your kind words. I had another bowl of this tonight after I got home from work and found myself wondering why I have never thought of making this before now. I suppose that necessity really can be the mother of invention.

  2. says

    Thanks for dropping by, Lizzy. This soup was particularly accommodating for my camera! hahahaahahaha. It’s always a mystery as to why some things photograph well and other things just sit there looking like a blob. Same with people, I guess.

  3. says

    Thanks, HTaPiM! That’s a really good question. I have shredded and frozen zucchini in the past, with the hope of using it for zucchini bread. When it defrosted, much of the water had separated from the zucchini. The zucchini was left lifeless and stringy floating in a sea of pale green liquid.

    Sooo…I’m thinking that cooking the squash first and then freezing it would be the way to go. You could even make a puree and freeze the puree.

  4. says

    Hi Terri,

    My dear CSA farmer thought I could use a box worth of summer squash in addition to our regular share, so I jumped at this recipe when I saw it! I used yellow squash and different varieties of pattypan. I followed the recipe exactly and it took me a minute or two to warm up to the complex flavors (me and thyme never get along), but all in all, it’s delicious! I did however put a bit more cheese and bacon on top. ^_^ Can’t ever go wrong there. Anyway, thanks so much for the recipe! I only wish I had the gift of ingenuity. 😉

  5. Jen says

    Just made this soup for dinner tonight and I must say, for squash soup it’s pretty tasty!

  6. Beth says

    I’m also a victim of CSA overload and went searching for a recipe to use my enormous sqach collection. This was fabulous- thank you! The basil and bacon together make for a very interesting combination. I couldn’t stop eating it because I needed to pinpoint what was so perfect about it all together. I also used parmesan with it too… never a bad choice!

  7. Valerie says

    Change your name to mine, and this blog could be from me (except I’m retired). My husband John often complains about my using “every dish in the kitchen” & how big a mess I make. I’ve got the food processor, but it hasn’t broken down on me yet (I bought it at a fund raiser with a box full of blades). Anyway, I’m going to try your soup tomorrow for lunch, and I’m really looking forward to it. Thanks for your post!

    • says

      Sounds like your John and my John would have a lot to talk about with the “every dish in the kitchen” thing. I am truly the messiest cook I know. My daughters stand and gawk at how many dishes I can use for one meal. About the retirement thing, lucky you! The thought of retirement sounds more appealing each day, especially with the new structuring of the medical system and how HARD the hospitals are working the nurses. Heck, now I just myself upset. I’m thinking that I need to make a pot of this soup tomorrow before work and take the whole pot with me–extra bacon, extra cheese! Thanks for dropping and leaving a comment. It’s good to know that I am not the only person in the world who knows how to use all of the kitchen utensils. 😉

  8. Claire says

    This was seriously one of the best soups I have ever had and the best I have ever made! All of the flavores together from the cheese to the basil to the bacon to the smoked paprika…amazing! I will certainly be making this again and sharing your fab recipe!

  9. Noelle says

    This is our new favorite soup. I’ve made it FOUR times in the past month and a half and am making it again right now for a harvest party. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser, as it pleases my whole family every time I make it. They just get excited that they can sprinkle bacon on things. 🙂 Thank you so much for this recipe. You’ve turned me into a soup Hero.

  10. Kurt Rudolph says

    I was looking for ways to use up the pile of patty pan squash my garden has produced when I came across your recipe. My family really enjoyed it . . . delicious!

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