This post marks the changing of the seasons. I actually had to put on socks today. Funny how accustomed you get to living at 77 degrees, and even the slightest drop in temperature and I have to break out my sweatpants. It’s only 72 in here and I definitely notice it. It’s impossible not to notice, especially when you have a cat who’s desire to cuddle is inversely proportional to the temperature. In other words, it gets cold, and you can’t sit down without her jumping on your lap, trying to steal every last ounce of your body warmth.
I figured we should have one last romp with summer squash before it is replaced by its buttery counterparts. There are a few short weeks where you can find both summer squash and winter squash at the markets, and I feel torn between them. While I am enticed by the new flavors (or, new as in I haven’t had them since last March) of the spaghetti and acorn squash, the lingering zucchini is hard to ignore. I had to make the most of it while it’s still around. And so I give it one last hurrah, a last supper of sorts, where it can truly shine. Thoroughly enjoyed, and truly the star of the show in a dish like this, the zucchini had a good run, but the cooler temperatures just beg for rich warm concoctions that zucchini just can’t pull off. So adieu, fair zuke, until we meet again… next summer.
2 pounds zucchini, trimmed and cut crosswise into thirds
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups water or broth, divided
1/3 cup packed basil leaves
Julienne skin (only) from half of zucchini with slicer; toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and drain in a sieve until wilted, at least 20 minutes. Coarsely chop remaining zucchini.
Cook onion and garlic in oil in a 3- to 4-quarts heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add chopped zucchini and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water or broth and simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 15 minutes. Purée soup with basil in 2 batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids).
Bring remaining cup water to a boil in a small saucepan and blanch julienned zucchini 1 minute. Drain in a sieve set over a bowl (use liquid to thin soup if necessary).
Season soup with salt and pepper. Serve in shallow bowls with julienned zucchini mounded on top.