Curried Zucchini and Red Pepper Soup

serves 8-10

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1/4 C olive oil

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6-8 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
2 small yellow onions, diced
2 red bell peppers, seeds and membranes removed, diced

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1/4 C tomato paste

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6 C chicken or vegetable stock
2 t ground coriander
2 t cumin
1 T turmeric
2 t curry
1 t red pepper flakes

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6 medium-sized zucchini, cut into chunks

juice from one small lemon
1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 small bunch cilantro, finely chopped

In a preheated soup pot, add olive oil. It should shimmer and ripple from the heat. Add garlic slices and sauté to flavor the oil. Add onions and red peppers. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Allow vegetables to sauté for a minute or so before stirring. We are looking for a little bit of “pan sticking” from the vegetables. The salting will pull out moisture in the vegetables. Allow vegetable liquid to mostly cook out before adding tomato paste. Mix paste in well. Watch your heat. You don’t want to burn the paste, but you do want some “pan sticking” and depth of color. You can smell the sweetness and caramelization from cooking the paste. See photo. Add 2 C of stock, coriander, cumin, turmeric, curry and red pepper flakes to the pot. Mix well. Add zucchini. Add remaining 4 C of stock, lemon juice, parsley and cilantro. Mix well. Bring to a boil and lower heat. Cover and simmer until zucchini is tender. At this point, remove the soup from the burner and allow 30 minutes of cooling. Place soup in the refrigerator and allow to cool overnight. The next day, puree the soup in batches until smooth. For service, heat pureed soup over medium to low heat. Adjust seasoning. Garnish with yogurt sauce, toasted almonds and chopped cilantro. A winner.

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Yogurt sauce:

1 C Greek yogurt, thoroughly strained
3 T heavy cream
zest of half a lemon
pinch of salt

Whisk ingredients well and top your soup.

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