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Spicy Zucchini Soup

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If you have friends growing zucchini, right about now they are probably delighted, bordering on desperate, to give some of it away.

Especially problematic are those huge, baseball bat-sized monsters that appear out of the blue when you’ve neglected to check the garden for a few days.

This soup is made for such occasions.

How to Make Spicy Zucchini Soup

The beauty of this soup is that it uses lots of zucchini, it cooks up quickly (perfect for a midweek meal), and it keeps for at least a week in the fridge.

You just chop up the zucchini, skin on (unless it’s thick or tough, then peel it), and cook it down with some jalapeño, onions, and garlic, and add some bright herbs such as mint and cilantro for balance. The soup gets pureed.

I like it just as well chilled as hot.

Elise Bauer

Gluten-Free? No Problem!

This recipe calls for bread, but if you’re not doing gluten, you can substitute with one cup of chopped potatoes (cooked or uncooked) or cooked rice.

Or you can add a little cream at the end of cooking to help thicken it—just don’t boil the soup. (Note that if you plan on freezing the soup, it will freeze better with the rice substitution than with potatoes or added cream.)

How to Store and Freeze

The soup will keep refrigerated for up to a week. Serve chilled from the fridge, or heat it up on the stovetop or in the microwave.

You can freeze this soup for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, and reheat gently on the stovetop to serve. If the soup looks separated after thawing, purée it in a blender or food processor again.

Zucchini in Everything! Try These Recipes

  • Zucchini Fritters
  • Zucchini Bread
  • Roasted Zucchini with Garlic
  • Pesto Stuffed Zucchini
  • Asian Zucchini Noodle Salad

If you are using extra large zucchini, scoop out and discard the seeds first. And if the skin is thick or tough, peel it and discard the peels.

To make gluten-free: substitute the bread with 1 cup of chopped potatoes, cooked or uncooked, or cooked rice. If you use uncooked potatoes, you may need to simmer the soup a little longer. Or you can add a little cream at the end of cooking to help thicken it—just don’t boil the soup.

Don’t like mint or cilantro? Try substituting with basil or parsley.

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 1/2 jalapeño chile (or more to taste, depending on how spicy you would like the soup to be), chopped, seeds, stems and ribs removed and discarded

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 2 pounds chopped zucchini (skin on), about 5 to 6 cups

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped day-old bread (or 1 cup rice or cooked or uncooked potatoes)

  • 3 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegan option)

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, loosely packed

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • Salt, to taste

  • Pepper, to taste

  • Lemon wedges, for optional garnish

  1. Sauté the onions and jalapeño:

    Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and the chopped jalapeño, and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until the onions are translucent, but not browned.

  2. Cook the garlic and zucchini:

    Add the garlic and zucchini to the pan and sauté for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle with salt.

  3. Add the bread and liquids:

    Add the bread, broth, and water, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes. (Note: If you’re using uncooked potatoes instead, you may need to simmer a little longer, depending on what kind of potatoes you use.)

  4. Purée the soup:

    Remove the soup from the heat. Add the mint and cilantro (if using). Purée in a blender or food processor until smooth, working in batches if necessary. (You can also use an immersion blender.)

  5. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper:

    Return the soup to the pot. Add the lemon juice, along with salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Garnish and serve:

    Garnish with lemon wedges and sprigs of mint or cilantro. Serve hot or chilled. Keeps for up to a week in the fridge.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
224 Calories
15g Fat
19g Carbs
6g Protein

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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 224
% Daily Value*
15g 20%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
4mg 1%
925mg 40%
19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 7g
Vitamin C 37mg 183%
Calcium 93mg 7%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 748mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.

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