Sunday, August 19, 2012

Southeast Asian Coconut Zucchini Soup

The funky round zucchini in the basket served as the basis for this soup today.  This unique and delicious soup is from The Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites cookbook.  Several years ago, I purchased this cookbook in an antique store for a mere $3 and have never been disappointed by any of the recipes I have tried from it.  This one was no exception.  The recipe was really created as a vegetable side dish of zucchini, but it lent itself to a pureed soup incredibly well. 

 I was quite impressed that Tom's garden supplied so many of the ingredients : the zucchini, the mint, the basil, and the fresh chili pepper. Tom has two types of peppers in the garden this year:  "Jimmy Nardalo's" and "Some Like It Hot".  For this soup, I used the first one, which is on the mild side of a medium hot chili pepper.    For the scallions, I used "walking onions" (Allium cepa) from the garden.  These easy-care shallotlike bulblets are also known as Welsh, or Egyptian onions and provide an easy care green onion for the entire summer.  The mint was part of the lettuce mix that Tom had planted in the deck pot and he decided he doesn't really like mint in his garden salads.  That's ok because I can find many uses for it. 

Jimmy Nardalo's and Some Like It Hot Chili Peppers
from Tom's garden 

If you turn your back on your garden for a day and the zucchini sneaks up behind you, this recipe will provide something new for you to try.  Combining it with the Asian-inspired coconut and lime creates a whole new flavor that will surprise and delight you.  If you serve this as a side dish to others in your family without pureeing it, I think it would be great with Jasmine rice.  

Mint in Tom's salad mix

1 Tablespoon coconut oil
(or olive oil if you prefer)
4 cups cubed zucchini
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2  fresh chili, minced, seeds removed for a milder "hot"
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 green onions, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup reduced-fat coconut milk

Potted sweet basil, purple basil and lemon basil


In a skillet, heat the oil and saute the zucchini, garlic, chili and turmeric for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the scallions, lime juice, basil, mint and coconut milk.  Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, until the zucchini is tender.  Stir occasionally and if necessary add a splash of water to prevent sticking.  Add salt to taste. Puree in a blender or other device.  The zucchini has enough water in it naturally that the blender was adequate to puree this soup.  

Adding fresh mint and basil to the saute of zucchini, garlic, chili and turmeric

Southeast Asian Coconut Zucchini Soup

As a vegetable side dish without pureeing it, the cookbook said it serves 4, and provided a nutritional analysis.  But when I  pureed it, the yield was 2 cups, so this made two one-cup servings.  So I simply doubled the amounts in the nutritional analysis from the cookbook for this pureed version.  
Servings per recipe: 2
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 112                                            
Total Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg                                                        
Sodium: 106 mg
Total Carbs: 16   g
Dietary Fiber: 5 g
Protein: 3 g

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