Pureed vegetables have a dubious reputation. For many of us, they are still considered the horrible fate of those without teeth. Some of you may speak blithely of kale and spinach smoothies, but I have worked in a nursing home. I have seen, and smelled, what a blender does to meat and vegetables. Once, after I had oral surgery, my husband pureed spaghetti for me. I’d rather have starved.
So, when my husband asked me to put zucchini in our blender for the 3 Rooster Chicken Soup we were making together for our dinner, I may have groaned. He looked at me with an odd combination of guilt and playfulness while he explained that I had eaten pureed zucchini the night before in the Quick Fresh Tomato Soup he had whipped up. I had already admitted to greatly enjoying that, so he had me.
The trick was, he said, to puree some juicy tomatoes first. Otherwise, the zucchini just jammed. Ah. That was the sound I had heard last night. Sometimes, I don’t want to come and see what the strange noises are at the time they are occurring….
I washed, cored, and quartered enough tomatoes to end up as about 4 cups of liquid. Then, I chunked up the zucchini according to his guidelines. He assured me that as long as there was enough liquid in the blender, the large pieces would mix quickly. The resulting tomato-zucchini mash was unpleasant to look at. Even before I got the lid off, he was promising that it turned back to a nice tomato red when it was heated up.
The 3 roosters may have been on the small side, but the pot of soup was large. He decided more zucchini would be good, but
we I didn’t want the chicken soup to have a strong tomato base. I can be a picky eater and my husband enjoys the challenge of creating things that I will rave about.
In this case, we put some of the soup liquid from the pot carefully back into the blender, to serve as the pre-zucchini blending liquid. I get some of the credit for the soup at that stage. I had started the 3 roosters cooking in water with some onion, carrot, salt, and pepper earlier in the afternoon. Plus, everything except the salt and pepper was home grown. My husband does NOT work in the garden. Now, he was de-boning the cooked birds while I cooperatively blended vegetables.
The sparkling green froth that I made looked quite un-soup like. I dutifully poured it into the pot. Next, I was assigned to cut a zucchini into bite size pieces. They would only be put in the soup barely long enough to soften them.
My husband finished up by adding the diced meat and some home dried basil. He also slipped in some garlic powder and celery seed. I found out today that he had secreted in a couple of tablespoons of his homemade hot salsa. Here I had been thinking that I had added an abundance of black pepper.
It is excellent chicken soup. I cannot tell from the flavor that there is a large zucchini making up a significant portion of the liquid. (The Black Beauty zucchini that I grew this year get quite large before it starts forming seeds.) At a time of year when people are obsessive about how to use up their zucchini, this may be one of the simplest and least zucchini-like methods I’ve run across. This does not mean that I am a pureed vegetable convert. However, pureed zucchini seems to have its uses.