Have you ever bitten into a chocolate chip cookie only to discover it is filled with raisins? I’m sure we all have. That is the moment in our childhood where we taste betrayal, quite literally, for the first time.
If you were like most children, you were a picky eater. If you still are… shame on you! Yet for children, being picky can be very wise. I can testify that statement, coming from the other side. I have always been explorative and creative with food (but I’m sure you have already figured that out, wise person.) That means I ended up on numerous occasions with something edible but nasty in my mouth.
To be fair, sometimes I was not trying to explore, similar to the raisins-incognito-cookie experience. For example, my five-year-old self once took a cube of cheese from the counter where my mother was cooking. I popped the whole thing into my mouth only to realize it was not mozzarella. It was raw tofu. That incident was so traumatic, I can still remember it today.
A similar experience, but with a happy ending, occurred when I mistook sliced zucchinis for cucumbers. After biting into it, my first thought was, “This is NOT a cucumber.” The second was, “But this is good.” And that is how this vegetable entered my life.
Zucchinis are odd. In raw form, they look like cucumbers with crowns. Seriously. Go to your fridge or buy some right now and see for yourself. (Plus you will need some for the upcoming recipe, so actually go buy them.)
The name was founded in Northern Italy and has haunted spelling bees ever since. On the flip side, it has internationally supplied kindergarten teachers with a healthy food that starts with the letter Z. (If you can think of another one, let me know in the comments below. I am so curious.)
Nevermind its oddities. Zucchinis are delicious and low in calories, which probably why it is featured in many weight-loss recipes as zucchini bread, pasta, French fries, burgers, sushi, cake, chips, and lasagna. If you think I’m joking about any of these things, you are horribly mistaken.
The problem with most of those foods is that the delicious taste of the zucchini is lost amidst the ketchup, bread crumbs, cheese, and chocolate.
Soup is classic food that calms and heals the body. The manner of eating it forces one to slow down and smell the aroma. Therefore, soup is a perfect way to bring zucchini back to its rightful place at the center of the palate.
After all, it is December now. The season for soups has arrived.
There’s a lot of snow in my part of Canada. It’s so cold I have to put on my seal-skin parka before exiting my igloo to feed my pet polar bear. I was so glad to warm up with this hearty soup when I came back in.
*For all non-Canadians, I must clarify: The above paragraph was a joke. My pet is not a polar bear.
**It’s actually a moose named Steve.
Zucchini Squash “Noodle” Soup
- 6-8 sliced zucchinis
- 3 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 1 chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 cups water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp date sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
Pour the oil, onions, and garlic into the soup pot and saute until golden brown. Stir in the zucchinis and add the rest of the ingredients except the spaghetti squash. Simmer for 2 hours or until the zucchinis are soft.
In the meantime, slice the spaghetti squash in half and lie face-down on a pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees until the squash flakes into ‘noodles’ when scraped with a fork.
Puree the zucchini soup. Add the spaghetti squash ‘noodles.’ (The squash I used was fairly big so I only added one half. If you used a smaller squash, feel free to add all of the ‘noodles.’) Stir well and simmer for another 20 minutes. If you like your ‘noodles’ very soft, cook for another 10-20 minutes. I like mine a little al dente.
Makes approximately 16 servings.