If you like soup, this is a recipe for you. If you dislike zucchini, this is also a recipe for you. (This is where you need to know just how much time I spend on y'all, making sure that EVERYONE is happy!) And this is also where I thank hubby's boss for supplying me with the abundance below.
Actually, zucchini is kind of a non-taste vegetable. It is nicely loaded with nutrients, but it really brings little to the table as a stand alone vegetable as far as taste is concerned. However, it's a real sucker for soaking in other flavors and that makes it a perfect vegetable to add into a soup or casserole just to add nutrition. (Here I'm putting on my boxing gloves for all you people who INSIST that vegetables be liked for what they are and are against hiding them in other dishes.) I'm sorry, but I think certain foods are meant to be blenders, binders, and taste bud bloomers instead of being stand alone foods. (You don't make your kids eat plain garlic, do you????) Zucchini falls into that category for me. It blends into the background nicely while picking up the flavors that are intended to star in your recipe. There is absolutely no point in making your toddler "enjoy" zucchini by itself, when you can put it in something else that they really do enjoy. Shredded zucchini can be added to everything from muffins, to pancakes, to soup, to casseroles, to burgers, to ..... Infinity And Beyond. Buzz Lightyear likes to freeze his shredded zucchini in quart or gallon-sized bags and then make Mr.& Mrs. Potato Head zucchini fritters for their anniversary. But I digress...
Black Bean Zucchini Soup
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, 1" dice
2 medium zucchini, 1" slice
1 red bell pepper, seeded, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
salt and pepper
a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/2 cups tomato juice
4 cups chicken stock
1 TBSP cumin
2 tsp Mexican oregano
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
OPTIONAL: one container Secret Ingredient (found in your grocery store in the dairy section by the sour cream and chip dips)
In large soup pot combine all ingredients except OPTIONAL. Bring to a boil and let simmer until all veggies are tender, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat and in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to pot and stir in Secret Ingredient if desired.