Italian Zucchini & Parmesan Soup

Italian Zucchini Parmesan Soup | Gather and Graze

There was a monster in my garden! My stomach turned as I contemplated how to get rid of him. Should I slash at him ruthlessly, cutting him off from his life-supply? Should I preserve and bottle him like a specimen in the museum? Or should I leave him in situ in the interests of science to see how truly monstrous he could actually become? I had turned my back for a week or two and he had swelled and distended himself to become the zucchini magnificent that he is today.

In reality, with a sense of quiet respect I did indeed snip him off from his life-supply and then carried him carefully to my kitchen to ponder how best to show thanks for such a splendid squash. My calls for suggestions (through Facebook) did not go unanswered; the likes of zucchini slice, courgette cake and stuffed zucchini being the most popular and gratefully accepted. I searched the web to further pursue the idea of a stuffed zucchini, but all provoked the most unattractive turned up noses from my family. There was no way I could eat an entire monster-stuffed-zucchini on my own!

The following soup appeared with perfect timing (ie. the zucchini had been sitting there for too many days) and has a simple list of beautiful ingredients that inspired the ‘wanna be’ Italian in me. It’s derived from a Neil Perry recipe, though some of the quantities have been adjusted slightly. I hope you’ll give it a try! I understand it is also wonderful served chilled in summer.

Zucchini | Gather and Graze

The Monster from the Garden

Italian Zucchini & Parmesan Soup

  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 5-6 Cloves Garlic (Chopped)
  • 1kg Zucchini (Diced into 1cm cubes)
  • A Couple of Handfuls of Basil Leaves (Chopped)
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper
  • 1 Litre Free-Range Chicken Stock
  • 100ml Pure Cream
  • Handful Flat-Leaf Parsley (Chopped)
  • 60g Parmesan Cheese (Freshly Grated)

Italian Zucchini Parmesan Soup | Gather and Graze

Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, basil and zucchini, along with a little sea salt and allow to cook gently for about 10-15 minutes, until the zucchini has softened and is lightly golden-brown.

Italian Zucchini Parmesan Soup | Gather and Graze

Add the chicken stock and a grinding of black pepper and allow to simmer for a further 10 minutes before removing from the heat. Puree soup in a food processor (leaving a quarter of the zucchini in chunks, to stir through at the end if you prefer). Pour it back into the pot and add the cream, grated parmesan and parsley and stir to combine. Serve immediately with a little extra parmesan and some delicious crusty bread.

Italian Zucchini Parmesan Soup | Gather and Graze

Cooking Notes:

  •  Neil Perry’s recipe calls for green zucchini, though my monster from the garden was of the golden yellow variety and worked beautifully as well.
  • Feel free to adjust the amount of chicken stock, if you prefer a thinner consistency of soup.

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32 thoughts on “Italian Zucchini & Parmesan Soup

  1. Johnny / Kitschnflavours

    Seem to be missing posts. Or am I forgetting to glance through email? Hmm, probably the latter.

    In Brussels a couple of years ago courgette (zucchini) soup was de jour, so to speak. And I thought, it’s going to be either or. It was or,,,hold on, which is which?! What I mean is, it was delicious. Made, like yours, with chicken stock. So, so good.

    Loving the littl’ tom!

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      I wasn’t so sure whether the zucchini being so huge would be good for very much at all, but was so pleasantly surprised at the beautiful flavour of this soup! I’ll definitely be making it again soon. Have a great week! 🙂

      Reply
  2. saucygander

    2.3kg!! Wow! That would have been a stuffed zucchini for a feast, all by itself! Looks like it made good soup.

    Your commentary for some reason reminded me of the time I bought far too many carrots from Fyshwick markets, and ended up inviting friends over for an Iron Chef Carrot dinner. We had carrot dip, carrot soup, Moroccan carrots, and carrot cake! 😀 (luckily we did not turn orange)

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Thanks SG! What a great idea having an Iron Chef dinner – sounds like a lot of fun! Will have to keep that in mind for the next time I have excess produce on hand. 🙂
      Cheers, Margot

      Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Thanks Anne! I’ll be watching with great interest to see how you use/cook up your courgettes through the summer – I hope it’s warming up nicely over there by now!

      Reply
  3. sam @ nourish

    Yum…one can never have enough zucchini recipes. I love that it uses basil, something that I always have mountains of when zucchinis are prolific in my garden…like right now! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Basil is possibly my favourite herb to use of all, so I’m always excited to find new recipes to use it in! How lovely your zucchinis are still growing Sam – perfect time for a soup like this one!

      Reply
  4. Nancy

    Loved your commentary! The soup sounds flavorful, looks delicious and appears simple to prepare. Definitely bookmarking this…thanks!

    Reply
  5. tinywhitecottage

    I love your soup. Very few ingredients are needed for a fresh garden zucchini. The ingredients you used are perfect. And it’s great you made a simple soup rather than an extravagant stuffed zucchini or 5 loafs of zucchini bread! 🙂 Although zucchini bread sound wonderful right now…

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      I still have a portion left of this monster zucchini Seana, so a loaf of zucchini bread hasn’t been completely ruled out just yet… Thanks for your lovely comment, as usual! 🙂

      Reply
  6. but i'm hungry

    Lovely, lovely, lovely! I’ll be adding this to my stash of recipes to try when we’re inundated with zucchini in a few months. I love a good zucchini soup, and this looks just perfect.

    Reply
  7. jothetartqueen

    What a lovely zucchini! freshly picked from your garden! I love grilled zucchini strips with aged balsamic and olive oil.

    Your soup looks and sounds good. If only, I have such a lovely zucchini plant in my garden.

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Thanks Jo – that’s exactly the way most of our zucchinis were cooked this summer too! I love that slightly char-grilled taste to them! The soup worked well to use up such a large zucchini and the flavours were awesome too!

      Reply
  8. ChgoJohn

    Yet another reason to look forward to Summer’s produce. This sounds like a wonderful use for zucchini and I’ll be sure to try your recipe, Margot. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Hi John! Your braised lamb shanks are actually in the oven slowly cooking away as I type this – the aroma already is spectacular, so I’m very excited about tasting this dish in a few hours time!
      I hope you enjoy the soup – it was a winner, in my books! Of course how can you go wrong when you’re adding garlic, parmesan and fresh herbs to a dish? 🙂

      Reply
  9. lemongrovecakediaries

    Well done Margot, both on growing such a fine specimen and for coming up with an interesting recipe. I have never tried zucchini soup before so I will be giving it a go. Now I just need to work out how to grow a 1kg zucchini 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      It grew to 2.3kg Karen! I was a little creeped out by it to tell you the truth. All of our other zucchinis had been snipped off at a very respectable size for grilling on the BBQ throughout summer, yet this one somehow managed to run wild!
      The soup was delicious and I’ll certainly be making it again – zucchini hasn’t ever been my favourite veg, but I’m happy to be finally finding ways of cooking it that we can actually enjoy!

      Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Isn’t spring such a wonderful season, when everything seems to come to life again! As much as I love all of the autumn colours we’re seeing at the moment, there just seems to be a lot more to look forward to in the spring… Hmm, perhaps it’s because I just don’t like being cold! Hope your zucchinis grow well this season!

      Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Thank you Chaya – we’ve often had it grilled on the BBQ through summer, but this is a wonderful way of making the most of it when the weather cools off a little!

      Reply

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