Chilled Zucchini Soup w/Lemon-Cumin Shrimp & Cilantro Cream

zucchini, zucchini soup, shrimp, chilled shrimp, creamy soup, chilled soup
prepared by and photo by Emily S. Downs

Don’t be intimidated by the long title.  Just a bit of early preparation and chilling time will produce a surprisingly light, refreshing and satisfying first-course or main-course dish.  Your choice, depending on how you dish it out. (All components can be made one day in advance and chilled.)

Size: 6 first-course or 4 main-course servings

1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 small garlic clove, pressed
1 lb peeled cooked medium shrimp
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp finely grated lemon peel
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced (about 2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, sliced
6 medium zucchini (about 1 3/4 lbs), cut into 1/4" thick rounds
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish


CILANTRO CREAM:  Whisk sour cream, cilantro, and garlic in small bowl to blend.  Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover and chill.)

SHRIMP:  Combine all ingredients in medium bowl.  Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.  (Can be made 1 day ahead .  Keep chilled.)

SOUP:  Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat.  Add onion; saute until tender, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic; stir 1 minute.  Add zucchini; stir to coat.  Stir in broth; bring to boil.  Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes.  Cool to lukewarm.  Add chopped cilantro.  Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth.

Transfer soup to large bowl.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cover and chill until cold, about 4 hours.  (Can be made 1 day ahead.  Keep chilled.)

Divide soup among bowls.  Top each with shrimp, dividing equally.  Spoon dollop of cilantro cream over each, garnish with cilantro sprigs, and serve.

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Author: Emily Sarah Downs

Cuisine Coordinator, Tips From Town, Ridgewood, NJ