Sunny Summer Squash Soup

by on August 7, 2008
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Summer Squash SoupI’m not a big fan of “sneaking” vegetables into children’s food–besides the fact that you’re not teaching your kids to like vegetables, you usually can’t sneak in enough to make any nutritional difference. But in the case of this soup, I didn’t start out intending to deceive my daughter. When she asked what I was cooking, I said “chowder,” and she assumed I was trying to replicate the potato chowder we all enjoyed at the End of the Line Cafe last week. She even looked into the pot and should have noticed that about 90 percent of the “potatoes” were bright yellow and had seeds, but if she did, she didn’t say anything. And I, knowing her irrational fear of squash, couldn’t bring myself to set her straight; I was sure that the truth would doom the soup to “yuckiness” in her eyes.

So I never told her. Even after she announced that the “potato” chowder was “better than the restaurant’s–tell them that on the blog, Mom!” Even after she took her small bowl back to the pot for seconds… and thirds. Call me a bad mother, call me a liar, I don’t care: I have a child who just declared a squash soup one of her favorite recipes, so I’m feeling pretty satisfied with myself. And not at all sneaky.

After dinner, I conferred with the resident chowder expert, my New England-educated husband, and we decided that this was more of a soup than a chowder. It’s definitely thick and rich-tasting, but there’s no cream (or cream substitute) and it’s thoroughly pureed rather than chunky. Whatever you call it, it’s good. Use the smallest, most tender yellow summer squash or zucchini you can find, and you’ll be amazed at its fresh, sunny flavor.

Summer Squash Soup

Sunny Summer Squash Soup

(printer-friendly version)

When I made this, I tasted it before adding the optional ingredients and was ready to stop there–it was simple and delicious. But I couldn’t resist trying to make it a little creamier and richer, so I added the nutritional yeast and tahini (plus turmeric for color). I’ll leave it up to you to decide which way you like it best.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small hot pepper, seeds removed and chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, strings removed and chopped
  • 2 medium (12-14 ounces) gold potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1 1/2 pounds small yellow squash, chopped (or young zucchini)
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional, for color)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (optional)
  • salt and white pepper, to taste (optional)
  • Garnish: slivers of red bell pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat a large non-stick or enamel-coated pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, covered but stirring every minute or so, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes (add a little water if it tends to stick). Add the garlic and hot pepper and cook for another minute.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients except the optional ones. Cover and cook until the potatoes are completely tender (they will mash if lightly pressed with a spoon), about 25-40 minutes.
  3. Remove half of the soup and put it into a blender* and puree at high speed until completely smooth. (Be careful–hot liquids can erupt from your blender; I always remove the center cup from the lid and cover the opening with a kitchen towel.) Once it’s blended, pour the soup into another pot. Add the remaining soup to the blender, along with any optional ingredients you choose to use, and blend well. Add to the other half of the soup, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls, garnish with slices of red bell pepper, and serve.

Notes

*I like this soup blended smoother than my hand blender can get it.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s) | Cooking time: 45 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Nutrition Facts

Makes 4 servings. Without optional ingredients, each contains 122 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (4% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 28mg Sodium; 6g Fiber. Weight Watchers Core/ 2 Flex Points. With optional ingredients, each serving contains 161 Calories (kcal); 3g Total Fat; (14% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 30g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 34mg Sodium; 7g Fiber; 3mcg B-12. Weight Watchers Flex Points = 3 or Core +1 Point.

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jasmine August 17, 2009 at 8:07 am

Thanks! I'm always on the look-out for one more thing to do with summer squash. This was delicious.

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2 Alison August 18, 2009 at 9:11 am

I made this last night and we almost ate the whole thing! I don't have a scale, so I just used "a lot" of squash. My small-town grocery store didn't have yukon potatoes (and we used up this year's garden harvest – note to self: plant more!)…so I used regular Idaho potatoes. I even left the skin on to up the nutrition. Let's just say I think the yukons would be better, though my Mom and husband thought the soup was fab! My co-workers smelled it cooking and now want the recipe, too. Thanks for all you do – your blog is a great resource for our family!

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3 Katie August 26, 2009 at 5:20 pm

This soup is so yummy! I'm not vegan but just happened to find this. Awesome – can't wait to make it again :)

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4 kim g. August 27, 2009 at 12:06 pm

I made this last night and my husband and I LOVED it! It was so creamy and delicious. I didn't have a pepper so I used a pinch of red pepper flakes, and only added the nutritional yeast and salt at the end. Thank you for such a yummy and easy recipe!

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5 VegChick September 2, 2009 at 7:55 am

The garden at the nature center where I work recently had a squash surplus, so I decided to make this soup. I used a pinch of celery salt instead of stalks (I hate celery) and used all the optionals except tahini.

I garnished with tiny, home grown, sweet tomatoes and put the soup in a vegan bread bowl.

After I awoke from my carb coma, I declared this the second-best soup I've ever had (have to give respect to Mom's potato soup) and had another bowl, garnished with avocado and accompanied by ciabatta bread. Superb.

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6 Kathy A. October 8, 2009 at 5:59 pm

I just made this recipe today for an event tonight, and snuck a bowl for myself. Yum! Thank you!

I didn't have any tahini, so I subbed almond butter. Very nice flavor combo with the squash. Also, I highly recommend the turmeric — really improved the color, and the slight peppery taste was very nice (and I'm not a turmeric fan!)

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7 Mike Sugarman December 20, 2009 at 9:36 pm

I just bought 5lb of summer squash for $1 on clearance, came across your recipe, and gave it a try. How did you come up with the flavor combination? It is brilliant…

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8 Gloria April 16, 2010 at 11:43 am

I made this last night with mushroom broth, a can of cannellini beans instead of the potatoes and another tbsp tahini (I need the fat, i’m a scrawny girl). OMG amazing! I wasn’t sure how the mushroom flavor was going to work but wow, it’s creamy, cheezy, and delicious :)

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9 Monica May 29, 2010 at 11:01 am

We often eat vegan as a part of our religious practice, so I appreciate your website. I would like to link to the recipe within a June 2010 Menu I’m posting.

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10 Joy Nicholson June 6, 2010 at 10:46 am

I tend to view recipes as loose guidelines rather than set-in-stone instructions. I used this last night and the results were delicious. Thank you for the inspiration!

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11 lovemyfamily June 19, 2010 at 4:24 pm

great recipe, but next time I would only add 3 cups of broth and then more later after the blender if necessary. I also love gloria’s idea of idea beans and will try that too.

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12 jennifer June 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I love your blog. I have made this soup several times and we always love it. This time I am using trombone squash. We have a garden and summer squash is always destroyed by the squash vine borer moth. The trombone variety (and butternut) are resistant to the pest so we are growing it for the first time. It is great used as a summer squash and I believe should store like a winter one. We’ll see. Again, I love your blog and I’m glad to know that there are wonderful vegetarians in Jackson since we visit lots of relatives there.

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13 Lynn July 1, 2010 at 8:48 am

I have made this wonderful Squash soup twice in the past week. My husband loves it and keeps asking me to make more! This is a great and delicious way to use the glut of yellow squash and zucchini that comes around in the summer.

Love your blog.

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14 STEPcoach July 12, 2010 at 11:48 am

Can’t wait to try this tonight! I just read this weekend that squash is a super food for diabetics – of which I are! Our neighbor has been happily supplying us with squash etc. So this will be a grand addition to my “medicine bag.”

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15 Kara August 26, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Just made this today, but omitted the celery as I didn’t have any on hand. It was still delicious! I’m so happy to have a recipe to make with the summer squash from my garden. Thank you!

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16 Surrey Plumber November 11, 2010 at 8:43 am

I’ve never had squash soup before but I’m keen to try it. Looks like a really nice summery dish.

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17 Karedavi December 29, 2010 at 11:59 am

I make this soup all the time. It is wonderful! Sometimes I substitute a zucchini for the celery, and I make it a little more spicy. Fantastic!

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18 ilaria August 8, 2011 at 7:57 am

I made it tonight (- tahini – potatoes + cannellini beans + scallions for garnish + a bit of flax meal). YUMMMY! Posted picture on Facebook and got lots of ‘likes’ :)

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19 Carolyn September 18, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I just finished make this soup and it turned out great! Nice and light and smooth.
I ended up substituting chicken broth for the vegetable broth and also used a jalapeno pepper for the hot pepper (although I think I should have maybe added more because I don’t taste spiciness so much). As far as the optional ingredients all I added was the turmeric.
Also I wasn’t sure whether the squash should be peeled before cooking or not? I didn’t peel it and when blending you can see little pieces of the skin although this didn’t effect the flavor or really the texture just the look.

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20 Katie October 6, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Oh my this soup is AHMAZING! I followed to a T and it turned out wonderfully! Will keep this recipe saved for years to come! Thank you thank you thank you!!

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21 Alexandra October 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Just made this lovely soup with the last squash from the garden. Another great one.

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22 Nina December 1, 2011 at 8:13 am

I tried this recipe with1 pickled chili instead of the hot pepper and it is wayyyy too spicy!! I won’t make experiments with chilis again… EVER!!! It totally messed up the soup which, besides my mistake tastes delicious :) Thank you!!

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23 Shreyas December 27, 2011 at 8:11 am

I didn’t like the garnish here so boiled fresh beets and made them into slices. I topped the soup with french onion, a few slices of the beets, and fresh basil.

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24 Elle May 7, 2012 at 1:26 pm

This was a great soup! It had a great flavor and the texture was very smooth like baby food.

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25 elyse May 14, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Delish! Made this tonight and loved it.

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26 Leslie June 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I tried your yellow squash vegan soup and I am hooked ! It is absolutely delicious and easy to make. I’m preparing it again today, the 3rd time in 5 weeks ! All friends have loved it too ! What a great way to use the squash as it comes pouring in out of the garden. Thanks !

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27 Allison M. Dickson July 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm

I just wanted to say I found this recipe on Pinterest and made it today using all of the homegrown squashes, zucchinis, and leeks from the garden. It was PHENOMENAL! I didn’t have any nutritional yeast or tahini, so I just blended a batch of the soup with some cashews to make it a little creamier. Perfect. I also added the turmeric.

I also tripled the batch. Can’t wait to have more of this tomorrow for lunch!

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28 Allison July 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm

This soup is SO GOOD! The only downside was that I used a pepper that was grown in our garden and it was really really hot, making the soup just a little too spicy. I’ll definitely be making this soup again though, especially since it tastes just as good cold as hot!

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29 sandy August 2, 2012 at 9:11 pm

About to make this – sounds YUMMMMM! so – years later and I am curious if your daughter now knows the truth and if YES, will she still eat (and love) it. Funny! Perhaps she has grown to love squash in these past few years.

thanks for all your recipes, Susan!
sandy

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30 Fiona August 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm

This was excellent! I halved the potato, squash, celery, and onion, kept all the spices the same, used 1 T nooch and 2 T tahini, and added 11/2 cups white beans. It’s awesome! Kinda hot for a hot night, but lovely nonetheless! Thank you!

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31 Fiona August 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Oh! And I left it chunky because I prefer chunky soups and I cooked it in the pressure cooker for two min with big chunks and it is perfect and very quick!

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32 Julie September 18, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Just tried this recipe today. It surprised me how excellent it is. I think I might even be able to get my oh so picky meat and potatoes hubby to eat this. Thank you!

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33 Kristin August 11, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Yet another stroke of brilliance! This soup is absolutely delicious. I didn’t have any fresh potatoes, so chopped up and threw in a can of whole new potatoes from the pantry about halfway through the cooking time. Came out GREAT!

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34 Susan September 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I also love this soup Susan! Beautiful color, creamy and delicious! Thank you!!!!

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35 Amanda August 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm

I am looking forward to making this but more importantly I am so happy to find someone that feels the same way I do about “sneaking” vegetables into food. Thank you.

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