Puréed Summer Squash Soup With Raita

Puréed Summer Squash Soup With Raita

Puréed summer squash soup with raita is a creamy and flavorful soup that is perfect for a light summer meal. The soup is made by sautéing diced summer squash (such as zucchini or yellow squash) in a pot with some chopped onion and garlic. The squash is then cooked until it is tender and then puréed until smooth, either with an immersion blender or in a blender or food processor. The puréed soup is then returned to the pot and seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices, such as parsley, cumin, and cayenne pepper. The soup is then simmered until heated through and served hot, either on its own or with a side of crusty bread. The raita is a refreshing and cooling condiment made with yogurt, cucumber, and herbs such as mint and cilantro. It is the perfect accompaniment to the spicy and flavorful squash soup, and it adds a creamy and tangy contrast to the dish.

How to make it:

For the raita:

1/2 cup whole-milk yogurt
Kosher salt
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. brown mustard seeds
1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. onion seeds (optional)

For the soup:

12 sprigs fresh cilantro with
roots, if possible (1 packed
cup); more leaves for
1 small head garlic, cut across
the equator; plus 1 Tbs.
minced garlic
3 T bs. unsalted butter
1 large onion, sliced (to yield
11/2 cups)
2 T bs. minced jalapeño
1 T bs. minced fresh ginger
Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
1/8 tsp. cardamom seeds or
1 green cardamom pod
1 lb. zucchini or other summer
squash (unpeeled), sliced
1/2 inch thick
1/4 tsp. fresh lime juice

This soup is a great way to use a bumper crop of squash from your
backyard garden or farmer’s market.

How to Make the raita

In a bowl, combine the yogurt and 1/4 tsp. salt. Heat the oil in a small
pan over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the mustard seeds,
cumin seeds, and onion seeds, if using. When they start to pop, add
the oil and seeds to the yogurt. Stir, taste, and add salt, if needed.
Refrigerate until needed.

How to Make the soup

  1. Put the cilantro, both halves of the garlic head, and 5 cups water in a
    large saucepan or a stockpot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and
    cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Strain the broth.
  2. Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add
    the onion, jalapeño, ginger, 2 tsp. salt, cumin seeds, coriander seeds,
    and cardamom, if using. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until
    the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes; don’t let it brown. Stir in
    the 1 Tbs. minced garlic and the zucchini, cover, and cook, stirring
    occasionally, until the squash is softened, about 5 minutes. Add
    4 cups of the broth, bring to a simmer, and cook until the zucchini is
    tender, about another 3 minutes.
  3. Purée the mixture in a blender and strain it (see the sidebar at right).
  4. Add the lime juice; taste and add salt if needed. Serve warm, garnished
    with 1 to 2 Tbs. raita and the cilantro leaves. —Eve Felder

how to purée a vegetable soup

A blender, rather than a food processor, creates the smoothest texture.

Ladle about 1 cup of vegetables and about
half as much broth into a blender. Cover
the blender, but remove the center cap or
keep the lid slightly cracked with the opening
away from you. Cover the lid with a
folded dishtowel. Purée in batches,
blending in pulses or on low speed at first
and then continuously until you have a
completely smooth purée, adding more
broth only if needed. With the blender
on, carefully ladle in more vegetables and
broth through the feeder hole, keeping
the ratio about the same, until the blender
is half full.

Strain the purée through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, pressing it
through with a rubber spatula. Purée and strain the remaining vegetables,
including any spices. Thin the soup, if necessary, so it has the consistency of
heavy cream (you may not use all the broth). Continue as the recipe directs.