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Chilled zucchini, pea and buttermilk soup

We loved chilled soups at dinner parties in the '70s. Their do-ahead ease still offers plenty of appeal to the entertainer. The secrets to success? Vibrant flavours, generous seasoning and thorough chilling. No one likes a tepid soup.

By Emma Knowles
  • Serves 8
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 5 mins cooking plus chilling
Chilled zucchini, pea and buttermilk soup
Chilled zucchini, pea and buttermilk soup

We loved chilled soups at dinner parties in the '70s. Their do-ahead ease still offers plenty of appeal to the entertainer. The secrets to success? Vibrant flavours, generous seasoning and thorough chilling. No one likes a tepid soup.

Ingredients

  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 700 gm zucchini, coarsely grated, plus 1 extra small zucchini, thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, plus extra to serve
  • Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste
  • 500 ml chicken or vegetable stock (2 cups)
  • 300 gm frozen peas
  • 200 ml well-shaken buttermilk, plus extra to serve
  • 1/2 cup mint
  • 200 gm hot-smoked trout, flaked
  • Radish sprouts (optional), to serve

Method

Main
  • 1
    Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high
    heat, add spring onion and garlic and sauté until
    tender (2-3 minutes). Add grated zucchini and
    lemon rind and sauté until zucchini softens
    (1-2 minutes), then add stock and peas, season
    to taste, bring to a simmer and cook until peas
    are bright green and just tender (1-2 minutes).
  • 2
    Remove from heat, cool, then add buttermilk
    and process in a blender or with a hand-held
    blender until very smooth, adding a little extra
    buttermilk if necessary. Add mint and blend to
    combine. Refrigerate to chill (3-4 hours), then stir
    in lemon juice, divide among chilled bowls, top
    with trout, sliced zucchini, extra lemon rind, radish
    sprouts and a drizzle of buttermilk, and serve.