A chill is in the air here in the Northeast, so it must be soup time. This is one of my favorite last-minute dinner ideas because you can make it in a half hour from start to finish, it tastes great and it’s healthy too (well, provided you go easy on the cream). Add something like a grilled cheese sandwich or a salad and you’ve got a quick vegetarian meal that beats a frozen dinner any time. If you don’t like zucchini - not to worry - it also adapts well to broccoli and other vegetables.
I used to cook the parsley in the pot with the vegetables, but I found that adding it uncooked to the blender after all the vegetables are pureed lends a much fresher taste. It’s also prettier with bright green parsley specks floating in the soup.
2 T. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1/2 stick celery, minced
one medium potato, cut into small chunks
3 medium size zucchini
4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
a large handful of fresh Italian parsley
salt, pepper to taste
1/4 cup heavy cream, optional
chives or croutons to sprinkle on top
Saute the onion, garlic and celery in the olive oil until softened. Add the potato chunks, the zucchini and the rest of the ingredients except the parsley and the cream. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook for 15 –20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through. Put everything in the blender and puree. (Be careful to cover the lid with a dishtowel or it may splatter.) Add the parsley and whir for a few more seconds. Add heavy cream if desired. Sprinkle chives or croutons on top (or both) .