Vegetable Zucchini Noodle Soup has been a frequent addition to the meal rotation at our house because of the zucchini plant in my garden.
Zucchini, which is also called courgette, is a summer squash in the plant family which includes spaghetti squash, melons, and cucumbers. Although we think of zucchini as a vegetable, technically it is a fruit.
Zucchini most commonly has smooth, shiny, dark green skin, which is edible, but there are also dark and light green striped, and yellow varieties.
If you have ever grown zucchini, or know someone who does, then you know just how prolific the plants can be. Even limiting ourselves to only one plant this year, we have to come up with ways to use the zucchini. And still, we give away lots of them.
Zucchini can grow to monstrous sizes, seemingly overnight. You need to stay on top of harvesting the plant because the best tasting zucchini are smaller to medium-sized. Also, the smaller ones, around 8 inches in length, are tastier, and much easier to deal with.
If, however, you do end up with a monster zucchini, those are the ones that are perfect for zucchini bread, muffins, or other baked goods.
Summer Squash vs Winter Squash
Zucchini is a summer squash, which has soft and tender skin, rather than the thick and rigid outer shell of winter squash. Summer squash has tender, more juicy flesh. This means they cook fairly quickly, so they are great for stir-frying and sauteing. Some other examples of summer squash include patty pan, and crookneck.
On the other hand, winter squash has firmer, hardier flesh and needs a much longer cooking time. They're ideal for roasting, stews, and curries. Examples of winter squash are butternut, acorn, pumpkins, and kabocha.
Check out this Ultimate Squash Guide for more info about all the varieties of squash and their best uses.
Zucchini is surprisingly high in nutrients, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, Magnesium, and Manganese. These squash are also high in fibre, low in calories and loaded with antioxidants, especially carotenoids.
Zoodles in Your Vegetable Soup
To make zucchini noodles, or "zoodles", you will need a spiralizer. You can find spiralizers in many sizes and price ranges. Mine is just a handheld plastic one, which does the trick and it wasn't expensive. Zoodles are a fun way to make a veggie "noodle" soup without gluten or carbs.
However, you don't need a spiralizer to make this soup. You can shave the zucchini into ribbons with a veggie peeler, julienne, or just chop it up. It will, of course, taste the same, however, you cut it.
Using zoodles means that this vegetable zucchini noodle soup is gluten-free. Some other favourite gluten-free soups include Sweet Potato Soup with Black Beans & Corn, Jamaican Pumpkin Soup, or Roasted Tomato Basil Soup, or Vegan Pho
Vegetable Zucchini Noodle Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion small, diced
- 3 carrots chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 6 cups no-sodium vegetable stock
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
- 14 oz can chickpeas drained
- 2 zucchini, medium 8", spiralized
- Over medium, heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven
- Add onion, carrots, and celery and garlic. Cook stirring, until onion is transparent, about 10 minutes
- Add vegetable broth, and bay leaf
- With kitchen string, tie together the sprigs of thyme and rosemary into a bundle, and add the bundle to the pot
- Bring back to a boil and add the tomatoes and chickpeas.
- Simmer 15 minutes, or until carrots are soft
- Add spiralized zucchini, and cook 5 more minutes
- Remove & discard bundled herbs, and bay leaf, & add salt & pepper to taste.
- Serve hot