Thursday, August 11, 2011

Creamy Summer Zucchini Soup (dairy-free)

This creamy, refreshing soup is a great way to use up all of that zucchini growing in your garden! Or, perhaps you bought too much from the Farmer's Market and need more ideas on how to use it. This dairy-free zucchini soup doesn't use any type of cream, coconut milk, or nuts to make it creamy. Just a few tablespoons of rice does the trick! My girls, who normally pick out zucchini in meals, love this soup and asked for seconds this evening. Pureeing vegetables into a creamy soup usually doesn't cause the same food aversions in children as does eating the vegetable in its whole form.

I got the recipe idea for this soup during my appointment with my midwife today. She actually gave me a few ideas of how to use zucchini that I had not thought of. The verbal recipe she gave me uses white rice, which is what I used. I believe cooked brown rice would work as well. I would add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of cooked brown rice. Don't use uncooked brown rice as it will not cook fully in the 15 to 20 minutes needed to simmer the soup. You could also use uncooked quinoa or even 1/2 cup of almond flour if you are grain-free.

Creamy Summer Zucchini Soup

Use either green zucchini, yellow zucchini, or patty pan squash in this recipe. Today I used yellow zucchini. I also used a very flavorful homemade herbed chicken stock (made without nettles) in this soup which gave it a deep, rich flavor. You could also use vegetable stock if you are vegan. Our family finished off the entire pot this evening. If you are cooking for one or two people, you may want to freeze half of it for later. The soup should last in the fridge for up to 5 days.

2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
8 to 10 cups chopped zucchini (about 5 to 6 medium zukes)
6 tablespoons uncooked white rice
8 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
sea salt or Herbamare to taste

Heat a 6 to 8-quart pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then the onion and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes or until onion softens and is beginning to change color. Add garlic and cumin and sauté a minute more. Then add chopped zucchini, white rice, and chicken stock. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until zucchini is tender and rice is cooked.

Add cilantro and lemon juice to the pot. Use your Immersion Blender to puree the soup right in the pot (less dishes to clean this way), OR remove pot from heat and puree in your blender or Vitamix in batches. I like to toss in the whole bunch of cilantro to one of the batches after I have already pureed it some. This way the cilantro doesn't totally break down while you are pureeing the soup. Pour soup into another clean pot or bowl, stir batches together, and taste. If it needs a flavor boost, add Herbamare or sea salt to taste. Source:

More Zucchini Recipes:
Zucchini-Almond Bread
Minty Chicken-Zucchini Kebobs
Zucchini Bake....Tastes Like Cheese!

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. ooh this looks so good! I have hoards of zucchini and patty pans that need to be used up. Did you know you can also freeze zucchini? Chop it, blanch it for 2 minutes, stick it in ice water, then freeze. I use this all year round in soups and stews. I've also grated it and frozen it for zucchini bread. Thanks so much Ali for all of your seasonal recipes! Looking forward to hearing about the new baby, -Jenny.

  2. I love your recipes!! This sounds delicious and so easy to make! Thank you! Hope your pregnancy is going well!!

  3. Wow! This sounds fantastic! Can't wait to try this on the family!

  4. Ali,

    I've been thinking of you and praying all is going well with you. I imagine it's getting really exciting at your home preparing and anticipating the new baby!

    This recipe looks wonderful and I will definitely try this with my zucchini picky eaters, too. Thanks,
    dear for nourishing us all!

  5. This looks SO good, and I love that it's freezable! Any reason that brown rice wouldn't work in place of white?

    Thanks! :)

  6. Yum! Perfect idea for this weekend ~ I actually have all the ingredients :)


  7. That looks so delicious! I'm going to have to make this.

  8. We enjoyed this. We have used potatoes for the creamy texture before, but I have never thought of using rice...which is awesome because one of my older children can't eat potatoes...and well, they just not that good for you - at least with rice, you can go brown. My husband likes to chew on stuff when he eats soups so after I blended everything up, I added a little more rice, asparagus, green beans and squash, and just let them sit/cook with the soup on very low. Added red peppers on top afterward.

    I sure would like to know how much a bunch of cilantro is though. I put some in, and it came out pretty strong. We didn't even need to add any on top.

    Thanks for the recipe to use up some of the zucchini...I made the bread too with chocolate chips. = )

  9. Does patty pan squash work in this?

  10. Made this last night and it was delicious! My girls (7 and 4) loved it as well! I did not have any rice so I used 1/2 cup cashews and 2 tbls. white rice flour. I got this from your mushroom soup recipe. I loved the fresh flavors and that I no longer have a fridge full of squash!!

  11. We love zucchini and soup. Since this is both will definitely have to try it.

  12. Yum!!! This looks like the perfect thing to make with the extra zucchini that I have! :)

  13. First, let me say that I love your blog, and your recipes look fantastic!

    I made the Zucchini soup following your recipe, and it was great, but at the end I wanted a bit of flavor boost, so I added about a teaspoon of white pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of celery seeds. My husband loved it - and he has no idea how healthy it is!

    Thank you so much for sharing your work!

  14. Thank you for yet another wonderful recipe! We received a lot of zucchini from our weekly CSA, and I was struggling as to how I would make use of it all. It was delicious, and so easy to make. Thank you, again!

  15. May have to try this out. Wonder if my little one will like it.

  16. Mary

    Wow, I love this recipe. Can't wait to cook it up! Great idea will try on the family.

  17. Given the date on this posting, I'm wondering if you've had some wonderful stuff happen in the meantime! Wishing all kinds of health and blessings on the whole family!


  18. This soup looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to make it... in fact, I have the urge to go grocery shopping ASAP. ;)

  19. I can't wait to try this! What a perfect way to end summer, thanks for sharing.

  20. My mom made this recipe and it turned out great.

  21. I love this soup so much I have already made a couple batches, and I enjoy it immensely just as it's written, which is unusual for me. Thank you.

  22. Yummy! Excellent the day after too. We used quinoa and it turned out great! We also added a fair bit of pepper.

  23. I made this last night and topped it with fresh avocado slices. Delicious. A wonderful leftover lunch on this rainy day. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Must be zuke season. Last comments were in Aug.'11 and here we are, Aug.'12... ha! I can't wait to make this soup this weekend. looks to be just what I need.

    Thanks also to comment from Joelle as I am not fond of cilantro, like the current trend is. A little goes a long way, and I was wondering about that! I would probably use a quarter of the amount called for and personally would not miss it if not there at all ;-)

  25. I made this a few days ago and it turned out delicious. Used almond flour instead of rice, and didn't have any cilantro, so added some ground coriander seeds to the cumin instead. My husband loved it and requested it again today. Thank you!


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)