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Zucchini SoupTad Seaborn/The Globe and Mail

It's beginning to look a lot like spring – with the usual Canadian trickery: a few brilliant days, then back to a snowstorm or three. Every year my mind makes the switch from winter to spring on the very first day that woolly layers are no longer required. Then I'm just angry for the rest of March. This zucchini soup manages to meet the need for cold-weather comfort with light, fresh flavours that provide a little bit of hope (no beans or squash in this soup). You probably have most of the ingredients on hand, so nope, no real reason to leave the house (just yet). Makes 4 to 6 portions.

Servings: Makes 4 to 6 portions.

Ingredients

3/4 cup diced onion

1 clove garlic, minced

5 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock

5 tablespoons uncooked rice

1 1/2 cup grated zucchini

3-4 tablespoons grated Parmesan (optional)

Method

In a medium pot over medium heat, sauté 3/4 cup of diced onion till softening and add 1 clove of minced garlic. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes.

Add 5 cups of chicken (or vegetable) stock and 5 tablespoons of uncooked rice. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes – until the rice has softened.

Add 1 1/2 cup of grated zucchini (wash but don’t peel 1 regular zucchini, cheese grater size). Simmer another 10 to 15 minutes until the flavours have melded and the rice and zucchini are tender. Season if needed. Stir in 3 to 4 tablespoons of grated Parmesan (optional). Serve.