This is a quick and simple soup. It’s a wonderful base to which you can add all manner of things, including cooked shrimp, sautéed mushrooms, or spring peas, to name a few. I often will drizzle on a little fragrant nut oil as a garnish. Serve the soup chilled or at room temperature. We don’t always think about serving soup at room temperature, but it’s a nice variation on a warm day.
The buttermilk commercially available today is not a by-product of butter-making, as it was in the old days, but is just cultured skim milk. It’s very low in fat, but also quite bland. If you can find good-quality buttermilk, such as Russian or Bulgarian or one from a specialty producer, the soup will be that much tastier.
In a Soup pot over high heat, bring the stock to a boil and add the zucchini. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the zucchini is barely tender but still bright green. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small, nonstick frying pan. Add the onion, chile, fennel, cinnamon, and cumin, and sauté until the onion is soft but not brown and the spices are fragrant.
Combine both mixtures together in a blender or food processor, and pulse until well chopped but still with some texture (of course, you can puree it completely if you want, but I prefer mine
If you like with chopped fresh cilantro or mint leaves and lime or lemon wedges
© 2004 John Ash. All rights reserved.