Hot, roasty summer squash soup in the summer? You must think that I’m off my rocker. I used to have a soup/sandwich shop within walking distance from my work, and on the hot 100°F days, I’d call in asking for the soup of the day. I’d get a confused and bewildered response – “Soup? It’s 100 degrees outside. We don’t have soup.”
They’ve since gone out of business. Maybe it’s because they never had soup when I wanted it! Just kidding. They were lovely ladies, and I’m always super sad to see a small business not succeed.
The fact of the matter is that when I think “summer”, I think of healthy meals. When I think of “healthy meals”, I think of soups. Welcome to my weird thought processes! I’m glad you’re here!
It turns out that eating or drinking hot things, both in temperature and spice, can actually help cool you down. That’s why many countries that are in geographically hot climates, eat either spicy foods, or partake in hot beverages, namely teas. Interesting, no? While a glass of perfectly sweet, ice-cold lemonade is refreshing on a hot day, this hot, baby summer squash soup can help cool you off too!
When these adorable baby squash found their way into my possession, I knew instantly what to do with them. I like zucchini – I really do, but simply sauteing them gets so DAMN BORING. My mind floated back to Christmastime, where I attended a Christmas party for Society Culinaria at a lovely Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles. We were served some delightful dishes, one of them being Sopa de Calabasas, or Zucchini Soup. Oh my heavens, it blew my mind. So simple, so clean.
I wanted to lick the bowl, but as etiquette would dictate, this was not possible around so many new acquaintances. I got as much out of the shallow bowl as I could with my spoon, and though we were served many different dishes, I longed for more of this simple soup.
The version that La Seranata served had an abundance of bay leaves, which really complemented the zucchini well. I took that, and ran with it in my version, while also taking the time to roast the zucchini. Not only does it draw out the moisture, it also produces roasty bits that simply sautéing can’t quite accomplish. That, in addition to the bay leaves give the soup a depth of flavor like no other.
I hope you enjoy!
- 1 Cup Raw Cashews
- 1 Cup Almond Milk
- 6 Cups Cubed Zucchini/Summer Squash
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
- 1 Teaspoon Salt, divided
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper, divided
- 1 1/2 Cups Diced Onion
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 4 Bay Leaves
- 1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast (a.k.a. Nooch)
- 5 Cups Vegetable Stock, divided
- Place cashews and almond milk in a bowl, and set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cube zucchini into bite-sized pieces, place in large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping squash with a spatula halfway through cooking time.
- While the squash roasts, heat a large stock pot over medium heat, and add in the remaining olive oil, then add the onions, oregano, and bay leaf. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally so the onions don’t burn, but get dark brown and evenly caramelized, about 20 minutes.
- Season with the remaining salt and pepper, then add 2 1/2 cups of the vegetable stock, and let come up to temperature, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves when the 5 minutes are up, and remove from the flame.
- Add the nutritional yeast, soaked cashews with almond milk, stock mixture, and half of the roasted zucchini to a blender, and blend until very smooth, about 60 seconds. Return to the stock pot.
- Add the remaining zucchini and stock to the blender, and blend again, for about 60 seconds until smooth, and add to the stock pot. Stir to incorporate, and return the pot to medium heat, warming the soup up to temperature, about 5 minutes.
- Portion into 6 bowls and serve!