Tailgate Recipe: Mind-Blowing Zucchini Recipe
Zucchini is one of the most underappreciated vegetables, as most people are content to simply eat this food raw on a salad or within some stir-fry.
Yet, neither of these methods of preparation really take advantage of everything that zucchini has to offer.
In this article, we offer a mind-blowing zucchini recipe that would be perfect for any tailgate setting. In particular, this dish is a delicious soup that also features many vegetables and herbs.
It’s important to note that while this dish features zucchini, this is certainly not the only ingredient used.
Organic Local Ingredients
We emphasize organic, local ingredients throughout, as we think this food is not only fresher but tastier and healthier.
Also, this dish feeds about 4-5 people, making it perfect for any small tailgate gathering.
If you would like to feed more people, then you can always increase the quantities of ingredients consistently in each part of this recipe.
For example, if you are planning on feeding a group of 10 people, we recommend simply doubling the number of ingredients listed throughout this article.
How to Roast the Zucchini
First things first, we pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
You’ll need 6 medium sized zucchinis for this dish. We wash these and then cut them in whatever shapes feel intuitively right.
Sometimes this translates to a bunch of thin, disc-like pieces while other times it translates to a variety of different shapes.
After we’ve cut the zucchini, we line an oven pan with sesame oil. Then we pour our zucchini pieces into the pan and mix them around to soak up the sesame oil.
Then, we cut up some fresh mint, coriander, and dill and sprinkle this on top of our mix. Any herbs can be used, though it’s critical that they be high-quality herbs.
While the roasting process will certainly enhance the flavors of these herbs, you still want them to be as fresh as possible in order to maximize the tastes in this dish.
We usually add some complementary vegetables to the oven pan to soak up some of the oils. Freshly cut fennel bulb and asparagus are some of our favorite additions.
Finally, we put some salt and pepper on the mix and roast it in the oven for 15 minutes. As the mixture is cooking, the smells should develop, giving you a preview of the dish.
Ensure that Flavors are Developing Preferably
If you’re unable to smell the dish through the oven door, then we recommend opening the door about 5-10 minutes in to ensure that your flavors are developing preferably.
If they are too strong or light or possess some undesirable quality, you can always modify the ingredients to influence the aromas.
For example, if the presence of the herbs is too strong, then you can always add a bit of lemon juice, lime juice, or water to the pan.
This should calm the herbs without totally neutralizing them.
How to Make the Soup Broth
While the vegetables are cooking, we start prepping the broth that will eventually hold the vegetables.
The base of our broth is usually 2 cups of coconut milk as well as 2 spoonfuls of coconut cream.
Then we add about a cup of water. We close the lid and bring this to a boil, starting from low heat.
You don’t want to start off on medium or high heat, as this could burn the liquids and result in a metallic, burnt taste in the soup.
Once this mixture begins to boil, we add the following ingredients:
We usually cook the beans earlier in the day or week, as this allows us to slow-cook them for incredible tenderness. Furthermore, this allows us to first soak the beans overnight.
This process helps remove some of the phytic acid that can be on the surface of beans, making them ultimately more digestible.
Soaking Beans Overnight
Soaking beans overnight also gives them a head start on the cooking process, allowing you to keep the heat low when you’re cooking them. This results in a slow-cooked bean with optimum texture and tastes.
Alternatively, if you don’t have time to soak your beans and cook them freshly, then you can buy canned beans from the store. If you go this route, then we recommend draining all of the liquid from these beans and rinsing them considerably.
This will allow them to soak up all the flavors in the soup instead of introducing new aromas that have developed throughout the canning process.
After adding all these ingredients to our broth, we cover the pan and let the mix boil on low heat for another 10-15 minutes, essentially until the zucchini and other vegetables are done roasting.
The Final Step of the Zucchini Soup
Once the zucchini and vegetables are done roasting, we take them out of the oven and dump them straight into the soup, allowing the various oils and juices that have developed to run off into the soup.
Then we mix everything around, making sure there is an even distribution of ingredients.
What really sets this dish apart from others is the bread that accompanies it.
We usually bring a loaf of bread with us to the tailgate as well as a knife. This allows us to freshly cut the bread when it’s time to eat the soup.
We recommend about 2 slices of bread per person. In particular, we recommend dipping the bread in the soup.
Also, because this is a very chunky soup, some people like to take several spoonfuls of the soup and create a kind of sandwich.
If you have any members of your group that enjoy dairy products, then throwing a few slices of cheese on this sandwich would be really delicious.
Heating up the Soup
If you follow a plant-based lifestyle, then there are plenty of vegan cheeses available that are made from cultured nuts, seeds, grains, and beans. These are actually quite tasty despite their nontraditional ingredients.
Really, the key to this soup is to eat it when its warm. We think eating cold soup is not preferable, so we recommend heating this up on some kind of portable stovetop at your tailgate.
Alternatively, you can heat this up before you head to the tailgate and just store the soup in an insulated container. This method is almost as effective as heating the soup at the moment and also allows you to portion out the contents beforehand.
Our Final Thoughts on the Benefits of this Zucchini Soup
Since there are so many vegetables in this soup, this recipe is full of critical vitamins and minerals that many people are lacking in their diet.
This soup would be ideal for any tailgating gathering that takes place in cold weather.
Since tailgating is common during football season, which partially takes place during fall and winter, it’s very possible that you will be freezing while tailgating for your favorite game.
As such, the warm, spicy nature of this dish would be ideal for cold climates.
Furthermore, the presence of the miso paste in this soup gives it a salty, savory taste that pairs perfectly with the garlic, herbs, and jalapenos.
More than anything, this soup is loaded with zucchini, as we determined the number of ingredients in order to make sure that each bite has at least some zucchini in it.
Since this zucchini is roasted in sesame oil, its nuttiness is accentuated which dovetails perfectly with the shitake mushrooms.
The Benefits of Local Produce
There are also a number of benefits from consuming local produce, as our bodies are able to best digest food that has traveled the least number of miles.
When food travels many miles to get to us, fluctuating temperatures and negligent handling can lead to compromised food that not only tastes bad but is overtly bad for our health.
Local food, on the other hand, is not picked as early as food that travels a far distance. This allows it to develop more nutrition as well as taste, leading to a healthier food overall.
Additionally, many people laud local food for being so naturally digestible. Some people think that our bodies can only digest foods that have been grown using local soil and sunshine.
In this sense, consuming local foods might be necessary for proper digestive health.
Lastly, if you are making a large dish for a tailgating party, you will likely want to purchase affordable ingredients to avoid a significant investment.
Buying produce in bulk from local farmers is one way of minimizing the costs of these ingredients. Many farmers will even allow you to work for food or negotiate their prices.
Thus, there should be no excuse for you to not use local ingredients when making this delicious zucchini soup.
If you follow the steps we outlined above, we guarantee that this recipe will totally satisfy you.