Monday, June 8, 2009

Newport Doesn't have Seasons - or Why I can Justify Making Soup in June

Everyone I know (that doesn’t live on the coast) always talks about how neat it must be to live 0.25 miles from the ocean. It is neat, but I miss having seasons. Here’s the list of what passes for seasons in Newport:
  1. Cloudy, but not foggy or windy
  2. Windy and clear
  3. Raining.
  4. Foggy but somewhat warm

Because we have a lack of summer (or a cold winter, for that matter) this means that I can justify making soup pretty much all year round. The only reason I need is that it’s cloudy/foggy/Tuesday and I’m good to go. Sam just has to deal with my love of soup. I still haven’t perfected Joan’s “whatever I have in the garden goes into a pot” soup, but I’m working on it.
I know that zucchini is normally a summer vegetable, and it’s a little early for the onslaught of the squash that everyone normally sees, but this soup has a bit of a different story. Sam and I went to Costa Rica for Thanksgiving, and stayed at this wonderful place called El Remanso. They had the best Zucchini Soup that I had ever tasted. I seriously wanted to do nothing but watch sloths, frogs, the pretty blue butterflies that looked like they were made out of paper and eat this soup the entire time. It was a such a great trip, that I almost want to convince Sam to go back. (This of course was before the Romancing The Stone style trip down a flash flooded river, to which I owe Sam my life, which is a story for another time. )
When we finally got back to the US, I wanted to replicate the wonderful zucchini soup we’d had. I had tried to make a zucchini soup before, and it was a disaster. It tasted like soap. I don’t know if that’s happened to anyone else before, but every now and then, when I make something with zucchini in it, it tastes like soap. Like the kind you used to get your mouth washed out with as a kid when you said bad things (not that I ever had that happen…). I found a slow cooker zucchini recipe in one of my cook books, and the rest is history. It’s just like at El Remanso, minus the trip down the raging river.
Zucchini Bisque
Adapted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, serves 4
6 tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large onion, chopped
0.5 tsp. curry powder
1.5 lbs. zucchini, cut into chunks
2 + tbs. basmati or long grain white rice (+ = heaping)
1 tbs. fresh basil, chopped
3 c. chicken or vegetable broth
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 - 1/2 c. half and half (I go for 1/3 c. – personal preference)
  • Put the butter, onion, and zucchini in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on High for 30 minutes.
  • Add rice, basil, and broth. Cook on Low for 5-6 hours.
  • After 5-6 hours, puree in batches (if using a blender or food processor) or in the slow cooker itself (if you’ve got a handheld immersion blender)
  • Add pepper and half and half. Cook 20 additional minutes, or until heated through.


  1. If my zucchini plants actually produce zucchini this year I might have to try your soup out =) PS I am replaying the Sam saving your life in Costa Rica story in my head as I type this. I am still glad you survived!

  2. I think I'll be able to handle the lack of seasons...we'll see if I go crazy or not!