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Farmhouse Kitchen Recipe: Sunshine Soup

I live with my family in an old Victorian farmhouse on an island in the Pacific Northwest where I write my blog Eating Buckets and grow all my own food and flowers. Years ago, I lived in Italy for several months and fell in love with tra- ditional Roman zuppa di zucchine, a silky, delicious soup made with the most basic ingredients—just broth, olive oil, zucchini, salt, and pepper. This is my variation, and every time I defrost a batch from my deep freezer it’s like revisiting the harvest days of summer, so my family and I call it “sunshine soup.”

Sunshine Soup

Serves: 10–15   Prep time: 10–15 minutes   Cook time: 25–35 minutes


1 cup olive oil, divided

1⁄4–1⁄2 cup butter

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

5 medium or large cloves garlic, chopped

1 medium shallot, chopped

10 cups zucchini, chopped

1 cup water or broth, plus more as needed

1 rounded teaspoon dried thyme

Freshly ground black pepper

Favorite bouillon, such as Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base, to taste

2 cups shredded carrots

3 cups finely chopped kale, stems removed

Shaved Parmesan, grated mozzarella, toasted pine nuts, chopped rosemary, chopped tomatoes, chopped basil, bacon, or chopped roasted ham, for topping


1. Add 1/2 cup olive oil and butter to a soup pot on low heat and gently sauté the onion, garlic, and shallot until soft, watching carefully to ensure the garlic doesn’t overheat or burn.
2. Add zucchini to soup pot and stir thoroughly.
3. Add water or broth, thyme, and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and simmer at medium heat, stirring frequently, adding more broth or water as necessary
to prevent sticking or burning. The soup will quickly become too thin if you add too much liquid at once, so drizzle in a bit at a time.
4. When zucchini is tender enough to squish easily with a spoon, use an immersion blender or a standard blender and blend until just barely smooth, leaving about a quarter of the soup still chunky.
5. Season with bouillon to taste by stirring it into the soup just small portions at a time, incorporating until you’ve reached desired flavor.
6. Set aside portions of base to freeze, if desired.
7. Add carrots and kale to the remaining soup and wilt
until just tender.
8. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings.

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VISIT Eating Buckets blog for stories and educational instructions about gardening, farming, cooking & restoring an old, beautiful 1901 yellow farmhouse. The farmhouse sits on five rolling green acres with orchards, gardens, a chicken coop, art studio and writing studio, and permaculture gardens. Out of thousands of blogs on the internet Melinda won the “Top 50 Farmhouse Blogs” award!! Truly a treasure trove of invaluable information just waiting for you to read and learn!

Pre-Order the FarmMade Cookbook

You can find this recipe in The FarmMade Cookbook coming out July 20, 2021 (pre-order now!!). A time capsule of food, craft, and tradition, The FarmMade Cookbook shares seventy-five multi-generational recipes from farms all over the country. Hailing from New England, the Deep South, the Midwest, Southwest, and Northwest, each authentic farm-made recipe represents its region’s unique farming culture. Recipes are paired with each farm’s unique story of resilience and connection with the land, resulting in a tangible agrarian gift to us all.

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