You know how every summer everybody with a garden ends up with so much zucchini they can barely give it away? Yeah, me neither. Most of my friends in urban Honolulu have no outdoor space for any kind of garden, except maybe a small lanai/balcony that can fit a couple herbs. But if you’re lucky enough to have a garden with zucchini (or even better- a friend or neighbor with a garden) this soup would be a great way to make a dent in a zucchini surplus.
This soup has sort of an interesting back story. The Irish Food Board, Bord Bia, created a version of this soup using three of Ireland’s staple foods- bacon, potatoes, and blue cheese- to serve in pubs to help promote Irish food and drink. How successful was Bord Bia? Well, I’d never heard of this soup before. But that doesn’t mean it’s not good.
One thing that might hinder this recipes popularity is that this is very much a stick-to-your ribs soup perfect for winter weather, while zucchini is very much a summer crop. So unless you live in a climate that produces zucchini pretty much year round (like Hawaii), you might want to file this one away for a chilly summer evening.
Bacon, Zucchini and Blue Cheese Soup
Yield: 6 servings
* 8 ounces bacon, diced
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 large or 3 medium zucchini, chopped (reserve several slices for garnish, if desired)
* 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
* 4 cups chicken broth
* 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
* 2/3 cup half-and-half
* salt and pepper to taste
In a stockpot or large saucepan, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove several pieces for garnish.
Stir the onion into the bacon and bacon fat and cook until onion turns golden. Add the zucchini and potatoes and stir well. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini and potatoes have softened, about five minutes.
Add the broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and then puree the soup using an immersion blender. Stir in the blue cheese and the half-and-half. Cook over low heat until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with bacon and zucchini slices.
Adapted from Bord Bia