Zucchini – freezing and using; Winter Zucchini Gratin

Time to make Courgette (Zucchini) Soup!

Too hot, you say?

Not in the mood for soup?

Allow me to explain.

Anyone who has a garden and has planted zucchini knows that after one has picked the first few lovely vegetables the plant immediately goes into over-drive and starts to produce enough to feed a large, hungry army.

Last year I posted tips on freezing the extra to use throughout the winter…. A bit of summer in the cold, as it were.

But I didn't really give any ideas on what to use it for…. Other than Courgette Soup.

First, let me recap how very easy it is to freeze:

Cut it up and put it in a saucepan with an 2 inches of water and a stock cube (I'm talking really easy, here)

Cooking Courgette

Slowly bring it to a boil, covered.  When it's seriously cooking, turn it off and let it sit, covered for 30 minutes.

Courgette_soup

Ladle it into containers, cool and freeze.

If you are particularly ambitious you could pop it in the blender first.

I'm doing about half each way.

As you can see I mixed the yellow and the green in this batch.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I keep them seperate and end up with either very yellow or rather green.

Some I will use to make this simple Courgette and Leek Soup

Zucchini and Leek Soup

My favorite new way to use it is as a thickener for other soups….

I stirred 3 cups of the puréed zucchini into this White Chili:

White Chili

I also added it to Chicken Noodle Soup, Turkey Vegetable Soup and Tuna Chowder.  Mon mari likes substance to his soups – he's not a 'broth' person.  The  puréed zucchini thickens it just the right amount.  And it's a great way of sneaking in more vegetables.

The other way I freeze it is to simply shred it, put it into freezer bags and freeze.

I thaw it and add to stir-fries, stews and…. soups.

Or I make this simple Zucchini Gratin:

Courgette or Zucchini Gratin

Winter Zucchini (Courgette) Gratin

16oz (500gr) frozen, shredded zucchini (courgette)
2 eggs
1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp olive oil

Thaw zucchini in a strainer.  It will give off a lot of water.  Squeeze out excess moisture. In medium bowl beat eggs well. Add yogurt, Parmesan and nutmeg. Mix well. Add zucchini and mix well. Lightly oil a small baking dish. (I use a 7 inch square glass baking dish).  Spoon zucchini into the dish and bake at 400F (200C) for 30 minutes or until set. Remove and serve directly from baking dish.

So….

When you are up to your ears with zucchini either get out your shredder or make soup!  It's a shame to waste all of the summer bounty!

8 thoughts on “Zucchini – freezing and using; Winter Zucchini Gratin”

  1. Hi Katie – what a great idea, of using the zucchini as a thickener in other soups! And talk about healthy, fresh out of the garden. And Zucchini Gratin? Yum….Thanks for the ideas, Ina

  2. Absolutely great suggestions for that pesky excess summer squash. Previously I’ve pickled it and dehydrated it and made gratin to freeze, but this is much, much easier. Thanks!
    Chuck

  3. Thank you for the post-we planted out first garden this year and it appears we will have a bit more zucchini than we anticipated! ( :

  4. Ina, I always plant too much. Desperation breeds creativity.
    Pam, it’s good both hot in winter and chilled (with a bit of milk added – and fresh basil) for summer
    Brassfrog, I never tried pickling…. I used to do lots of canning (bottling) – now I freeze. A bit riskier but so much easier. (My freezer died last winter – I now have a new one and I vow to check it every day.)
    Dawnm everyone does. Pick it small, use the flowers…and freeze it when it gets away from you – hahaha

  5. Always looking for new ways to use this veggie! Great idea to both cook and freeze shredded. My favorite is still the pasta sauce I make where the squash replaces meat. I grind up the squash with tomato sauce in a blender until it looks (sort of) like ground meat, then into the pan with onion and garlic and herbs and tomatoes. No one misses the meat, either.

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