By Chef John Ash
Courtesy of Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, www.redwoodhill.com
This is a quick, and simple soup. It’s a wonderful base to which you can add all manner of things including cooked shrimp, sautéed mushrooms, spring peas, etc. I often will drizzle on a little fragrant nut oil as a garnish. Serve the soup chilled or at room temperature. We don’t always think about room temperature soups but it’s a nice variation on a warm day. Serves 4
What you need:
1 pound trimmed zucchini
2-1/2 vegetable broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 c chopped onion
1/2 tsp seeded and minced serrano chile, or to taste
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1-1/2 c Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk Plain Kefir
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Garnish: Chopped fresh cilantro or mint and lime or lemon wedges
What you do:
Chop zucchini in large chunks. Add broth to a soup pot, bring to a boil and add zucchini. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until zucchini is barely tender but still bright green, Remove from heat and cool.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a small, non-stick frying pan. Add onion, chile, fennel, cinnamon and cumin, and sauté until onion is soft but not brown and spices are fragrant.
Put both mixtures into a food processor and pulse until well chopped but still with some texture. Pour into a bowl and stir in buttermilk and season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill for at least 2 hours. Serve garnished with a sprinkling of cilantro and added drops of lemon or lime juice to taste.
Recommended Wine: The tart kefir, fresh herbs and spices would go best with a crisp, clean chilled white wine with similar flavors such as a Sauvignon Blanc. Italian whites such as Pinot Grigio and Spanish whites such as Albarino would also work fine.
Note: this recipe is by Sonoma County Chef John Ash, who has developed many recipes for Redwood Hill Farm. Originally this recipe called for buttermilk. Kefir is an excellent substitute in any recipe calling for milk, buttermilk or yogurt. Kefir is excellent as a base for soups, dips and sauces.