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Zucchini Soup with Crème Fraîche and Cilantro

"This soup marries French cooking, with the leek and creme fraiche, and Texan flavors, with the poblano and cilantro," says Danika Boyle. The creamy green soup is delicious served hot or cold.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 large poblano—cored, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 5 medium zucchini (2 1/4 pounds), cut into 1-inch rounds
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 small Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
  • One 6-ounce bunch cilantro, stemmed and coarsely chopped, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 1 cup crème fraîche


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the leek and poblano and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the zucchini and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the chicken broth and Parmesan rind and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the zucchini is very tender and no longer bright green, about 15 minutes. Discard the Parmesan rind and add the chopped cilantro.
  2. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Return the soup to the pot, whisk in the crème fraîche and reheat gently if necessary. Season the soup with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls. Garnish the soup with cilantro leaves and serve.

Make Ahead

The soup can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently or serve cold.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published September 2013

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