These days I’ve been caught up in using lemon thyme from my herb garden in summer cooking, loving its citrus-floral flavor. Recently, I discovered the thick, tangy creaminess of cultured sour cream. It’s wonderful in cool vegetable side dishes and cold soups.
I like to prepare this “zuke soup” in the morning to give it all day for the flavors to come together as it chills for our supper. TIP: an immersion blender makes quick work of the prep here.
Serves 4 as an entrée, 6 as a starter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium-sized white onion, chopped
- 1-1/2 pound organic zucchini, trimmed, thickly sliced and chopped
- 1 organic carrot, grated
- kosher salt and ground white pepper
- 3 cups homemade chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme leaves, roughly chopped ( any fresh thyme will do)
- 1 cup half & half
- 1/2 cup cultured sour cream (I used “wallaby” from Whole Foods)
- 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest (any fresh lemon zest)
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the chopped onion and cook over medium heat until softened. Add the chopped zucchini, grated carrot and the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, another 10-15 minutes, in covered skillet.
2. Remove skillet from heat, uncover and allow mixture to cool for 30 minutes. Purée in blender in batches, keeping mixture slightly “chunky”, then turn puréed soup into a large, non-reactive container.
3. Add the thyme, Half & Half, sour cream and lemon zest. Stir well, then taste and correct seasoning, remembering that flavors will “set” as the day progresses – i.e. don’t over-salt!
4. Chill for at least 6 hours. If desired, garnish with a drizzle of best quality olive oil and a sprig of fresh lemon thyme.