Winter means soup and I have been trying my hand on a few vegetable soups so we can enjoy a healthier version everytime we want some. After trying out and loving our Brocolli Soup it was time to try a Zucchini version. However, I wanted to add a little extra flavor to the soup and I thought I'd try to add some fennel seeds. I know they have a nice anise flavor and perhaps that will work with Zucchini. I wasn't sure though if it will even manifest itself but when I pureed the whole batch, I tasted just a hint of it and I was pleased with it. It does not overpower the other ingredients but gives it that extra flavor dimension which for me is enjoyable. But if you cannot find fennel seeds or they are not handy, then don't worry I am pretty sure it will still be a good tasting soup. It just so happened I have some left in the pantry so I decided to try it.
If you use 6 cups of broth, it will be more of a runny and thin soup but if you wish a creamier and thicker version, then feel free to lessen the cups to about 4. Either way, I think it's lovely and delicious and wonderful with grilled ciabatta and melted provolone which is what we had with this soup. Unfortunately, the bread got eaten before I could take the photo. Anyway, enjoy another lovely and healthy soup to last you during the last few months of winter.
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
3 garlic cloves, choped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
4 Zucchini (medium to large), thickly sliced
1/2 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (4 cups only if you wish a thicker or creamier soup)
Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
Cream and Chives (for garnish)
Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large saucepan. Saute the onion, garlic and fennel seeds in gentle heat for about 5-8 minutes or until the onions has softened and has changed its color. Add the sliced zucchini and toss gently for about 5 minutes. Add the fresh thyme and the stock. Bring to a boil then simmer just until zucchini is tender roughly 5-8 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste, if it needs seasoning or if you use low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock.
Set aside the soup to cool down a little before you puree it.
In a blender or large food processor, puree the zucchini mixture to your desired thickness and consistency. Serve in bowls with a dollop of cream and some snipped chives. Enjoy!
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