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Puréed Summer Squash Soup with Raita

Sarah Jay

Yield: Yields 1/2 cup raita.

Servings: four.



For the raita:

  • 1/2 cup whole-milk yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. brown mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. onion seeds (optional)

For the soup:

  • 12 sprigs fresh cilantro with roots, if possible (1 packed cup); more leaves for garnish
  • 1 small head garlic, cut across the equator; plus 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, sliced (to yield 1-1/2 cups)
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbs. minced jalapeño
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/8 tsp. cardamom seeds or 1 green cardamom pod (optional)
  • 1 lb. zucchini or other summer squash (unpeeled), sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh lime juice

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size with 2 Tbs raita
  • Calories (kcal) : 165
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 100
  • Fat (g): 11
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Cholesterol (mg): 25
  • Sodium (mg): 1120
  • Carbohydrates (g): 15
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 5


  • Make the raita: In a bowl, combine the yogurt and salt. Heat the oil in a small pan over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and onion seeds, if using. When they start to pop, add the oil and seeds to the yogurt. Stir, taste, and add salt, if needed.
  • Make the soup: Put the cilantro, halved garlic head, and 5 cups water in a large saucepan or a stockpot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 15 min. Strain the broth.
  • Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, 2 teaspoons salt, ginger, jalapeño, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and cardamom, if using. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 10 min.; don’t let it brown. Stir in the 1 Tbs. minced garlic and the zucchini, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is softened, about 5 min. Add 4 cups of the broth, bring to a simmer, and cook until the zucchini is tender, about another 3 min.
  • Purée the mixture in a blender and strain it (see How to purée a vegetable soup).
  • Add the lime juice; taste and add salt if needed. Serve warm, garnished with 1 to 2 Tbs. raita and the cilantro leaves.


Rate or Review

Reviews (5 reviews)

  • user-3164399 | 11/27/2019

    This soup is fabulous! At the end of the summer we were scrambling to use up an abundance of summer squash, so I made this soup and froze it. Last night, I made the Arita, thawed the soup, and had a great meal. We will make this one over and over!

  • Lilabelle | 07/22/2012

    I saved the original Fine Cooking magazine with this recipe for years, just because of this soup. It is SO delicious, though I reduced the salt by half. The issue this soup is from is one of the best issues ever.

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