My mother is staying with me to recuperate from knee replacement surgery. She’s craving light comfort foods. Patty Pan Summer Squash Soup is just the ticket. Patty Pan squash is much more common in grocery stores and farmer’s markets these days than it was in years past. It’s terrific grilled, and makes a lovely, mild, summer soup. Make sure you process the soup until it’s totally smooth and creamy. You could easily serve this soup cold, but I like it slightly better when it’s hot, even on a warm summer night. It’s so light it still seems refreshing, even if you serve it warm. The inspiration for this soup came from our Farm to Table cooking class with Chef Clement Gelas in Park City, Utah. Thanks Chef Clement. The Stern family thanks you and so does my recuperating Mom!
Patty Pan Summer Squash Soup (eight servings)
- 1 cup Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon best quality butter
- 1 leek, white parts only, washed well and finely diced
- 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 lbs patty pan squash, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 1 quart whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 zucchini, sliced ½ inch thick
- 3 Japanese eggplant sliced ½ inch thick
Heat butter in a large saucepan or medium sized Dutch Oven, over medium heat. Sauté the potatoes until just cooked through. Add the leeks, shallots and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add the white wine. Bring to a boil and scrape the sides and bottom of the pan. Turn the heat back down to medium and add the squash. Sauté for 10-12 minutes. Add the milk. Simmer (don’t boil) until everything is soft but not mushy – 5-7 minutes will be plenty.
Place soup in a blender and process until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and add heavy cream, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
I think creamy soups are a bit more interesting with something crunchy on top. This soup is super with a grilled vegetable relish. If you’re up to the additional ten minutes of work, place your sliced vegetables (squash and eggplant are perfect for this) on a large baking sheet. Lightly brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and finely ground pepper. Heat your BBQ to medium-high. Spray your grill with vegetable spray such as Pam. Place your zucchini and eggplant on the grill. Grill both sides until the eggplant is soft in the middle and the skin is lightly crisped. You want to cook the zucchini through so that it is cooked, but not mushy. Place all of the cooked vegetables on a cutting board and dice them. When you are ready to serve the soup place 1-2 tablespoons of the chopped grilled vegetables in the center of each bowl of soup. You can also drizzle the soup with a small amount of truffle oil, or with aged balsamic vinegar.