This started life as a zucchini soup from the pages of Eating Well magazine, a publication I quite enjoy. I adapted it to use summer squash we'd purchased at a local farmers' market and was especially glad for the opportunity to use some of the tarragon we're growing on our porch in a window box.
If you've read this blog long, you know I love soup. I don't care that it's 102 F out, some soup is just what you need. That's especially true of this soup which is good hot, but should also be good cold.
I served this recently at a little impromptu get together and 75% (3 out of 4) of those sampling the soup liked it well enough to finish their bowl. The other 25% I think was put off by the slight bitter taste from the skins of the squash, so be warned before you serve it to small children or those inclined to react to any bitter taste with "ptooey pplp bleh bleh bleh fffft". You can peel your squash first if you must to cut down on the bitterness, but the soup will lose much of its lovely yellow color.
I would have liked to serve this with squash blossoms, but our markets are stubbornly refusing to carry blossoms this year. Maybe once the zucchini and summer squash harvests reach their full oppressive potential and defeating reproduction of the veggies becomes of paramount importance we'll see the tasty blossoms on the shelves, but for now, we make do with intense yellow summer squash in a nice summery soup.
Summer Squash Soup based on a recipe from Eating Well magazine
4 medium summer squash
4 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 cup mild cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkling of dried tarragon to garnish
1/4 cup lemon juice
Wash the squash well, scrubbing off any dirt and trim the tops. Quarter the squash lengthwise and cut the long pieces into 1"-2" lengths. It doesn't have to be perfect, we just want them to all be about the same size.
Put the cut up squash in a pot along with the vegetable stock. The squash should mostly cover the squash. Add the fresh tarragon and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer then cook uncovered for 7-10 minutes until the squash is tender.
Using an immersion blender or in a food processor, puree the soup until it is uniform and smooth. Stir in the cheddar until it dissolves. If necessary, you may need to return the soup to low heat to get the cheese to melt into the soup.
Add the lemon juice, stir, and serve. Garnish with a sprinkle of dried tarragon leaves. Serves 4-6 as a starter or 2-3 as a main course with bread.