This soup recipe (from The Essential Mormon Cookbook by Julie Badger Jensen) meets all my requirements: simple, fresh ingredients, lots of vegetables, and dee-licious. My family is always surprised how much they love this soup, being that zucchini is its main ingredient! I have adapted it slightly.
The recipe makes a small batch, just enough for three main-dish servings, so I would suggest doubling it for bigger families or to have leftovers. This is perfect to make in the summer when your garden is producing lots of zucchini, or when your friend's garden is producing lots of zucchini. Or, bite the bullet (like I did last week) and pay $2.49/lb. for your fresh zucchini now ... it just may be worth it.
1 c. chopped yellow onion
2 T. butter (I use 1 T.)
3 c. sliced zucchini
2 t. Better Than Bouillon
2 c. water
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1/2 cup half-and-half
Optional toppings: grated cheddar, crumbled bacon, sour cream.
(I find that a little taste of just one of these on top of your bowl of soup is plenty. A little freshly-ground pepper finishes it off.)
In medium soup pot, saute onion in melted butter until it just starts to caramelize. Add sliced zucchini, water and Bouillon, and bring to a boil, stirring gently. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Cool slightly. (I don't do this) Pour mixture into blender and puree it. (I use my small hand-held Braun pulsating mixer, and do this right in the soup pot. I like to puree about half the soup, leaving the other half chunky.) Stir in half-and-half, return to pot and reheat but do not boil. Garnish as desired.