Chilled Zucchini Bisque with Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms
- SERVINGS: 8
- 2 quarts water
- 4 medium zucchini (1 3/4 pounds)—halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 8 mint leaves
- Freshly ground pepper
- 8 large zucchini blossoms
- 4 ounces mild fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup tomato juice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely diced yellow tomatoes
- In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the zucchini, onion and 1 teaspoon of salt and cook over moderate heat until the zucchini are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the vegetables, reserving the cooking liquid. Let cool.
- In a blender, combine the cooked vegetables with the spinach, heavy cream, lemon juice and mint; pulse until finely chopped. With the machine on, gradually add about 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until chilled.
- Meanwhile, gently open the zucchini blossoms and remove the yellow stamen. Cut off any spiky leaves at the base of the blossoms.
- In a small bowl, beat the goat cheese with salt and pepper. Using a small spoon, fill the blossoms with the goat cheese. Gently twist the tips of the blossoms around the filling. Set them on a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake the zucchini blossoms just until warmed through, about 6 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk the tomato juice with the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the zucchini soup into 8 shallow soup plates. Set a stuffed blossom in the center of each. Garnish with the diced tomatoes and a drizzle of the tomato juice mixture and serve.
A light- to medium-bodied white, crisp and with pronounced floral overtones, is ideal for this soup and the seared salmon. Try an Alsace Pinot Blancs. A good Beaujolais would do nicely too.