Pairing: Pellegrini chardonnay a match for zucchini soup
If you are looking for a classic California chardonnay, our Wine of the Week, Pellegrini Russian River Valley Olivet Lane Vineyard Chardonnay ($50), is a wine for you.
It is rich without being cloying and has the suave finesse expressed in the best examples of the varietal in this appellation. You’ll notice tropical fruit, a hint of Granny Smith apple, a bit of delicate yeast, and pretty little floral notes that come and go. A creamy quality suggests baked apples and custard, especially as the wine warms in the glass.
At the table, the wine is a natural with butter-roasted chicken served on a big mound of fresh herbs. It is excellent with corn, too, from corn on the cob or corn chowder. In cooler weather you’ll enjoy it with New England-style clam chowder. Linguine with clams in butter and white wine, slow-roasted wild King Salmon and grilled zucchini with cumin and garlic are good matches, too.
With warm temperatures predicted for this week, you might want to go with something cool rather than hot. You can prepare this simple summer soup at night, when things have cooled a bit, and enjoy it as the sun sets the following day, with this wine, well-chilled, alongside.
Chilled Zucchini Soup with Julienned Zucchini & Turmeric Creme Fraiche
Makes 3 to 4 servings
4 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow or white onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1½ teaspoons ground turmeric
6-8 small to medium zucchini, trimmed and chopped
— Kosher salt
6 cups homemade chicken broth or stock
1 medium Romanesco zucchini, trimmed and cut into medium julienne
— Black pepper in a mill
— Juice of ½ lemon, if needed
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, stems removed, leaves thinly shredded
1/3 cup creme fraiche
Put 2 tablespoons of the butter into a medium soup pot set over medium-low heat, add the onion and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 12 minutes. Do not let the onion brown.
Add half the garlic, the ginger, and 1 teaspoon of the turmeric to the onions, season with salt, stir, and add the zucchini. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pour in the chicken broth or stock.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook until the zucchini is tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.
While the soup cooks, sauté the julienned zucchini. To do so, put the remaining butter into a medium sauté pan and when it is melted, add the zucchini and remaining garlic. Sauté, tossing frequently, until just barely tender; season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and set aside.
Remove the soup from the heat and let rest for about 5 minutes so that it cools slightly. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth or pass through a food mill.
Taste, season with black pepper, correct for salt and taste again. If it seems a little flat or bland, stir in the lemon juice. Pour into a large container, cover, and refrigerate at least 3 hours and as long as overnight. Cover the chill the julienned zucchini, too.
Remove the julienne zucchini from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before serving. Stir it gently.
Shortly before serving, put the creme fraiche into a small bowl, add the turmeric, several turns of black pepper, and a pinch of salt. Stir well.
To serve, ladle into chilled soup plates. Scatter julienned zucchini and shredded basil over the top, add a generous dollop of the creme fraiche and enjoy right away.