It’s another delicious garden in a bowl with today’s recipe feature – Zucchini and Spinach Soup. Zucchini and spinach invite a host of friends to join them in festivity – fresh parsley, chives, shallots and watercress – along with barley and coriander seeds. The soup is rounded out with a few other seasonings and yogurt to create a wonderful light, yet hearty dish. Healthy and joyous eating!
Zucchini and Spinach Soup (Recipe courtesy Justin Cogley)
- ½ cup pearled barley
- Kosher salt
- 3 tbsps. finely chopped chives
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 tbsps. unsalted butter
- 2 tbsps. canola oil
- ½ cup thinly sliced shallots
- 2 lbs. zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup lightly packed baby spinach
- ¼ cup lightly packed parsley leaves
- ¼ cup plain whole milk yogurt
- 4 oz. watercress, thick stems discarded
- 2 tsps. extra-virgin olive oil
- Finely grated lemon zest, for garnish
In a medium saucepan, cover the barley with 1 ½ cups of water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over moderately low heat until the barley is tender and the water is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Stir in the chives and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the coriander seeds over moderate heat, tossing, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool, then grind into a powder.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the canola oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and ground coriander and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the coriander is fragrant and the zucchini just starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add 4 cups of water and the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is very tender and the water is just slightly reduced, about 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth; add spinach, parsley and yogurt to the last batch. Return soup to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper.
In a medium bowl, toss the watercress with the olive oil and season lightly with salt. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the barley and watercress. Garnish with lemon zest and serve.