Last week my hubby took me on a lunch date to a new little bistro in town. We’d passed it before and I loved that it had free range chickens in the side yard and a large garden off to one side so we decided to try it on an impromptu lunch date! When we arrived there was a handwritten note on the door that said they had a catering event and would be back at noon.
One thing I’ve noticed about living in a small town is that no matter what posted business hours are, many places are only open when they want to be. Business hours are more of a suggestion than something you can bank on. It’s kind of charming in a way but not great for planning when to make trips into town! At least this place left a note letting us know when they’d be back.
We went to another small business we like supporting and got a cinnamon roll as an appetizer and then headed back to the bistro. The bistro was a small, homey place with their entire menu handwritten on a whiteboard, which is a very promising sign if you ask me. I ordered a turkey sandwich and the Summer Squash & Dill soup since I’ve never had summer squash soup before. The sandwich was really good – the soup was amazing! It was some of the best soup I’ve ever had and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. So this is what my 30s has brought me: daydreams about soup. I actually stopped by the bistro today to get some more or try another of their soups but – you guessed it – they were closed (no note this time)!
I had gotten all the ingredients I thought I might need when we last got groceries so since we couldn’t buy the soup, I decided to try to recreate it. I didn’t get many pics because I honestly didn’t plan on getting terribly close to the original since I could only identify a few ingredients in it. Toward the end of attempt #1 my 9 year old came out and helped tweak the seasoning and we decided it was close but the potatoes I added overpowered the squash taste we wanted to stand out and it was still missing another layer of flavor. We made some notes and a few days ago set out on attempt #2 and this is our favorite (and closer to the original) version!
Now that I have made a soup to compare to the one I ordered at the bistro, I think the one from the bistro was made with a light roux (butter and flour to thicken it and make it creamier). This recipe is sans roux so not quite as creamy as the one I ordered, but it is paleo, gluten free, whole30 compliant, full of veggies, and light and tasty. It would be a great accompaniment to a hearty sandwich – bistro style!
Summer Squash Dill Soup
1 quart homemade or boxed chicken stock (if boxed, look for a brand with easy to recognize ingredients and no msg – you could also use bone broth)
1-2 Tablespoon of butter (we love salted Kerrygold butter)
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, diced (we used 4 because I love garlic)
3 medium or 2 large yellow squash (could probably use even more if you wanted)
1 large zucchini
¾ tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbs. dried dill
2+ tsp. salt (depending on how salty your stock is)
2+ drops Young Living Lemon Vitality (if you don’t have this yet, you can get it here! It also comes in the Premium Starter Kit, which is by far the best bang for your buck)
Pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Melt the butter in a saucepan or Dutch oven and add onions, then garlic, then squash and zucchini. Saute until all veggies are soft/tender but not mushy or falling apart.
There are a couple ways you could blend it once the veggies are soft. If you sauté the veggies in a Dutch oven, you can add the stock and use an immersion blender to blend it OR add the stock to a Blendtec or Vitamix, then add the veggies and blend. We used the Blendtec and blended it in two batches until it was smooth.
Add the seasonings, except the lemon oil, and adjust to taste. Start with the lesser measurement of salt and lemon oil and then add more if you want.
Heat the soup until hot, then turn off the heat, wait a 5 minutes and add the lemon oil.
Stir to mix and serve warm/hot.
You can sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top if that’s something that excites you.
*We ended up with 2 tsp. salt and 3 drops of lemon oil.
That’s it! If you’ve made a summer squash soup before and have any other special ingredients you like to add, please share!