Thursday, August 6, 2009

Zucchini-'Buttermilk' Soup with Watercress Pesto

Here's yet another way to take advantage of summer's crop of zucchini.

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and coat with cooking spray. Add 1/2 cup chopped leek and 1/2 cup chopped celery; saute 4 minutes.

Add 5 cups chopped zucchini and saute for 5 minutes. Add 1 (14-ounce) can of vegetable broth; bring to a boil, then partially cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Let cool slightly (about 5 minutes) before transferring to a blender and pureeing until smooth - do this in two batches if you need to, depending on the size of your blender. Transfer the pureed soup to a bowl.

Make one cup of vegan buttermilk by placing 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a measuring cup, then filling with plain soy milk (such as Silk) to equal one cup. Let stand 5 minutes to clabber (sour) it before stirring into the pureed soup, along with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper.

Meanwhile, make the pesto. In a blender or food processor, place 1/2 cup watercress leaves (you can substitute arugula if you prefer), 2 tablespoons shredded vegan cheese in place of Parmesan (I used the vegan mozzarella from Galaxy Foods), 1 tablespoon pine nuts, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons water, and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Process until smooth.

Ladle 3/4 cups of soup into each of 6 bowls, and drizzle each serving with 2 teaspoons of pesto. It's up to you whether to serve the soup warm or chilled, since it's delicious both ways! Do whichever you prefer according to your taste or the current August weather in your area.

Each serving is 70 calories.

leek $1.27
celery $3.39
zucchini $2.40
canned vegetable broth $1.49
plain soy milk $2.49
watercress $1.69
vegan cheese $3.39

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance