Potato zucchini soup is a creamy, light soup made with a handful of simple pantry ingredients. As a bonus, this soup is vegan and gluten-free, with no need for dairy or thickeners to make this soup thick and smooth.
Potato zucchini soup is like a cross between vegetable soup and potato soup. Essentially, it's a creamy potato soup, but with a hint of zucchini, garlic, and thyme. Light, smooth, and comforting, it's perfect any time of year.
This creamy soup is so velvety smooth that you'd have no idea it doesn't contain any cream or thickeners. Made with potatoes, zucchini, onions, garlic, oil, broth, and seasoning, this soup is dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan.
Potato zucchini soup makes an excellent side dish to your next main course, or a light lunch with the addition of a side salad and some crusty bread.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Broth - Chicken broth or vegetable broth works here. Keep in mind that if you'd like to make this recipe vegan, you'll want to use vegetable broth.
- Zucchini - About 1.5 pounds of zucchini, or 3 medium zucchini, are needed for this recipe. I recommend using small or medium zucchini for a smooth texture when blending. Very large zucchini can have hard skin that may add texture to your blended soup.
- Potatoes - Any potatoes you have on hand will work in this recipe. Yukon gold potatoes are a great all-purpose potato to keep on hand for just about any recipe, including this soup.
- Oil - Olive oil can be substituted with any light cooking oil you have on hand, or butter (if you're not looking to make your soup vegan).
- Onion - Yellow onions or sweet onions work well in soup.
- Garlic - Adds depth of flavor to your soup. I highly recommend using fresh cloves of garlic rather than minced garlic from a jar (it tends to have a harsher flavor).
- Seasoning - I kept it simple with salt, pepper, and thyme, for a comforting, savory flavor. You can also substitute thyme with basil, oregano, rosemary, or Italian seasoning.
How to add flavor to soup
This particular soup has a mild, comforting flavor, with the main flavors coming from the broth, onions, garlic, and thyme. If your soup tastes a little bland or flat, here are a few tips:
- Use regular broth for your soup, rather than a low-sodium broth. Salt enhances the flavor of your soup, so reducing the salt reduces the flavor. If you're using low-sodium ingredients for health reasons, I'd recommend following a few of the tips below to add extra flavor to your soup.
- Don't skip sautéing your onion and garlic at the beginning - this adds flavor to your soup.
- Add dried herbs to your soup. I kept this recipe simple with dried thyme, a classic, comforting flavor. However, you're welcome to add other herbs, like basil, rosemary, or an Italian seasoning blend.
- Add fresh herbs like basil or dill, especially if you're looking to use up more of your summer garden harvest. Toss in a handful just before blending.
- For a similar basil flavor, add a spoonful of pesto just before blending.
- If you enjoy spicy foods, add a dash of hot sauce for depth of flavor and a kick of heat.
- Add a few additional cloves of garlic if you love big garlic flavor.
- Stir in some shredded cheese just before serving, like parmesan or fresh grated cheddar.
- Top your soup with garlic croutons.
How to puree hot soup
Once your soup ingredients are done cooking, you'll either need an immersion blender or a regular blender to make your soup creamy and smooth. If using an immersion blender, you can carefully blend your soup (off the heat) right in your stock pot. If using a regular blender:
- Allow your soup to cool for a few minutes before blending. 2-3 minutes is fine.
- Remove the center cap from the lid and have a kitchen towel ready to lightly cover the hole while blending. This is done to allow steam to escape. Otherwise, pressure can build up in your blender and cause splattering or worse.
- Fill your blender no more than halfway with hot soup (I blended this recipe in two batches).
- Return the lid to the blender (with center cap removed) and lightly cover with a towel.
- Starting slowly and gradually picking up speed, blend your soup until smooth. Pour into serving bowls or another stock pot.
- Repeat until all soup is blended.
- If needed, reheat your soup over medium heat until warm.
What to serve with potato zucchini soup
Potato zucchini soup is an excellent side dish for your next main course. Or, turn it into a light lunch with the addition of a salad and some crusty bread. Here are a few ideas:
- Sandwiches: Grilled cheese, ham sandwich, turkey sandwich, veggie wrap, BLT, or roast beef sandwich.
- Main dishes: Baked chicken, garlic salmon, or a bowl of pasta.
- Bread: Dinner rolls, biscuits, croissants, garlic bread, or croutons.
- Salad: Add a few heartier toppings to your salad for a complete meal, like crumbled bacon, cheese, chicken, or chopped walnuts.
Storage and reheating
Potato zucchini soup will keep for up to 5 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. It reheats beautifully in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat.
This soup also freezes well. Allow your soup to cool completely to room temperature, then transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag. Soup can be frozen for 2 to 3 months when stored properly. If your soup does separate while thawing, it will easily come back together with a few seconds in the blender.
Potato Zucchini Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 32 ounces broth, vegetable or chicken
- 1 pound potatoes, cubed
- 1.5 pounds zucchini, cubed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- In a stock pot over medium heat, add olive oil. When hot, add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Add garlic and cook and additional 30 seconds. Add broth, potatoes, zucchini, salt, thyme, and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through (they fall apart when pierced through with a fork).
- Remove from heat and allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth, or transfer soup in batches to a standard blender to process until smooth (remove the center cap from the lid and lightly cover with a kitchen towel to allow steam to escape. Never fill a blender more than halfway full with hot soup).
- Add desired garnishes, like croutons, pesto, shredded cheese, or a splash of cream, and serve warm as an appetizer or side dish.
- This recipe can be prepared with fresh or frozen zucchini. This recipe is a great way to use up frozen zucchini you have on hand.
- Soup will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container and reheats well in the microwave or on the stovetop.
- Soup can also be frozen for 2-3 months in a tightly sealed container (allow to cool completely before storing in the freezer).
- Recipe is written as a side dish to be served alongside a main course, or a hearty salad and crusty bread as a light lunch.
- Using low-sodium broth will reduce the flavor of this soup. If low-sodium broth is needed for dietary reasons, I suggest increasing your garlic and herbs to add extra flavor.