March Madness: Zucchini

Zucchini

Zucchini

Botanically zucchini is considered a fruit, but in the culinary world it is treated as a vegetable so we will go with that!  High in folate, potassium and vitamin A, zucchini is a great addition to your diet.  Zucchini can grow quite large, but they are usually harvested when smaller to yield a better flavor.  They are reasonably priced, and I would recommend buying organic when possible.

My favorite way to get zucchini into our diet is with black bean soup.  The black bean soup recipe I use blends the soup, so you cannot even see the chunks of zucchini.  I use a recipe called “Sneaky Momma’s Black Bean Soup” from one of my favorite cookbooks, Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann (with a few tweaks of course!).  How can you not love a recipe with that title?  Here it is:

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup

Ingredients:

  • ghee (or olive oil to make it vegan)
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1/4 red bell pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 (15-oz) cans black beans, drained or about 3 1/2 Cups cooked black beans
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • black pepper

Melt ghee in saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic and cumin and stir briefly, then add zucchini, tomato and 1 1/2 Cups water or vegetable stock (I use vegetable stock because it gives the soup a tastier flavor).  Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes or until the zucchini is tender.  Stir in black beans and oregano.  Puree soup in blender until smooth and creamy.  This soup freezes well.  I always make a double batch and freeze some!

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