Jason Bond, chef and owner of Bondir in Cambridge, uses fresh lovage from his own chef’s garden to add into this chilled zucchini soup.
Makes 2 quarts
1 celery branch
1 clove garlic
1 fingerling potato
1 bunch basil
1 branch fresh lovage
1 pinch piment d’Espelette or cayenne
1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup olive oil
salt and white pepper
1 quart vegetable broth
4 young green zucchini
Peel and wash the vegetables. Chop into small dice. Place the vegetables and the herbs into a soup pot with the first half-cup olive oil, salt, pepper, and a small pinch of piment d’Espelette. Cover the pot and cook on low heat for 30 minutes or longer, to soften, but don’t allow to color. Add a spoonful of stock if you need it to prevent caramelization. Once the vegetables are very soft, practically mushy, cover with the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.
Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Remove from heat. Slice the zucchini into half-moons (about a pinky’s thickness) and add to the pot. Blend the soup in batches (carefully! Always start the blender on low.)
While still hot, add the remaining half-cup olive oil while blending. Strain the soup through a fine mesh chinois into an ice bath and chill quickly, stirring as it sits to remove heat faster.
Adjust the consistency and the seasoning again after it has chilled. Cold broth or milk (or we use sour whey from making our strained yoghurt) can be used to thin the soup if necessary. Serve chilled with a dollop of labne seasoned with toasted and ground coriander, lemon zest, finely minced garlic, salt and white pepper.
(Recipe courtesy of chef Jason Bond, Bondir, Cambridge, Mass.)