This Creamy Zucchini Soup is oil-free, made with fresh zucchini, simple spices and without potatoes. You'll love the perfect balance of creamy flavor and the right amount of seasonings in this cream of zucchini soup.
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Cream of zucchini soup
If you love light, hearty and comforting soups than you'll love this easy creamy zucchini soup recipe! It's an easy and simple pureed soup that tastes extremely satisfying.
You can make this zucchini soup without dairy and it will still taste fantastic. You can also sub the half and half with 2 % milk or any plant based milk to achieve a subtle creamy flavor. If you prefer an ultra rich soup do add heavy whipping cream for that extra richness.
We went with a mild cheesy flavor, hence, added sharp cheddar cheese. However, you can also add parmesan, gouda or white cheddar cheese! You can even skip the cheese if you are following a healthy diet. The possibilities are endless. This is truly the best zucchini soup recipe ever!
Ingredients & substitutions
- Zucchini: Fresh unpeeled zucchini diced into big cubes about 1 inch.
- Aromatics: Yellow onion and minced garlic.
- Seasonings: Smoked paprika, ground black pepper, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes. If you are making this recipe for kids do skip the red pepper flakes.
- Dairy: Half and half, sharp cheddar cheese. You can sub the half and half with 2 % milk or even heavy whipping cream (Read NOTES at the bottom of the post for exact quantities). Sub the sharp cheddar cheese with parmesan, mild cheddar, gouda or white cheddar cheese.
- Better than Bouillon chicken base: This stuff is amazing. It makes an instant stock when stirred in warm water.
- Liquid: Water.
Tips for success
- Choosing best zucchini: Green zucchini that's firm to the touch and not longer than 6 inches are best for this soup. You do not need to peel the zucchini as the cooked skin will blend into the soup when pureed with an immersion blender or a regular blender. Avoid zucchini with with soft tender spots.
- Spicy zucchini soup: If you prefer a spicy soup with a good amount of kick do add about 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes. You can also skip the red pepper flakes and add about 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
- Thickening soup: You do not need any thickener or slurry to thick this healthy soup. The shredded cheese and the half and half would thicken the soup naturally.
- Optional garnishes: You can garnish the soup with fresh chopped chives or parsley, some shredded cheese, crushed black pepper and drizzle olive oil.
How to make creamy zucchini soup?
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements + Video at the bottom of the post.
Step #1 Dump ingredients & pressure cook
- Pressure cook: Add the diced zucchini, onion, garlic, seasonings and stock in the instant pot. Secure the lid and pressure cook on high for just 5 mins followed by 5 mins natural pressure release.
Step #2 Puree soup, add dairy & serve
- Puree soup: Pure the soup into a smooth texture with the help of an immersion blender.
- Add dairy: Add the half and half and stir briskly to mix it well into the soup. Add the shredded cheese and stir briskly until the cheese completely melts and blends into the soup.
- Serve: Serve the creamy zucchini soup garnished with shredded cheese, crushed black pepper and drizzles of extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!
- Skip dairy: This zucchini soup tastes amazing even without the dairy. Just skip adding the half and half and the cheese.
- Thicken with beans: Add 1 cup cooked white beans along with the diced zucchini, pressure cook everything together and than puree the soup to your preferred texture. The soup will thicken naturally.
- Thicken with potatoes: Add 1 cup peeled and diced Yukon gold or russet potatoes instead of the cooked white beans and follow the exact steps mentioned above. You'll have a thick, smooth and naturally creamy zucchini soup.
- More veggies: Add 1 cup diced carrots along with the diced zucchini and than follow the rest of the steps. This will give a veggie boost and you'll have a delicious zucchini carrot soup.
- Extra creamy option: Skip the half and half and add ½ cup heavy whipping cream for a rich soup.
- Cashews: You can soak 10-12 cashews in warm water for 30 mins, blend it into a smooth puree and than add this to the soup instead of the cream. You'll have creamy soup without adding any dairy!
- Vegetarian option: Skip the better than bouillon chicken base and add better than bouillon veggie base.
We love to serve the creamed zucchini soup with the following sides to make it into a complete balanced meal:
- A light crisp salad.
- Crusty bread.
- A simple coleslaw.
- Air Fryer garlic bread.
- Air fryer frozen corn on the cob.
- Air fryer smashed brussel sprouts.
- Air fryer roasted beets.
- Air fryer carrots and potatoes.
- Butternut squash fries air fryer.
- Instant pot Moroccan couscous.
Leftovers and storage
Fridge: Store the soup in air tight containers for 4 days in the fridge. Follow the reheating directions shared below.
Freezer: Freeze the soup in heavy duty freezer safe bags or containers for up to 2 months. Skip adding the half and half or cream and the shredded cheese if you plan to freeze the soup. You can add them later while reheating the thawed soup. Thaw the frozen soup overnight in the fridge and than follow the reheating directions shared below.
Microwave oven: You can reheat the cream of zucchini soup in the microwave oven until warm or hot.
Stove-top: Reheat the soup in a heavy bottomed saucepan or pot over medium high heat on the stove top. Stir it often to prevent it from sticking at the bottom of the pot.
Best cream of Zucchini soup is made of fresh zucchini, onion, garlic, simple seasonings and herbs and optional dairy like milk, cream, half and half and shredded cheese.
Overripe or large zucchini can taste bitter sometimes because zucchini tends to turn bitter as it grows very large in size. Zucchini can also produce a substance known as cucurbitacin, resulting in a bitter taste when it is exposed to stressful conditions like extreme heat or drought.
You can fix bitter zucchini soup by adding any sweetener like honey, maple syrup or sugar to the soup. Don't add too much at one time. Add small quantities, mix well, do the taste test and than add more if required.
You can cut zucchini into small squared or slice them into half moons for vegetable soup.
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Watch Recipe Video
- 2 cups Water (**add 2.5 cups if you prefer a thinner soup.)
- 1 tbsp Better Than Bouillon (**chicken base. Stir this in the 2 cups water to make an instant stock. You can even add this directly to the pot. )
Dump & pressure cook
- Add the diced zucchini into the instant pot. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Add all the seasonings mentioned above in the "seasonings" section of the ingredients list above. Now, add the stock (better than bouillon stirred in warm water).
- Secure the lid of the instant pot, seal the valve and Pressure cook on high for 5 mins. Once the cooking cycle is over the instant pot will begin to beep. Wait for 5 mins natural pressure release than release the rest of the pressure manually by moving the valve from the sealing to the venting position. Turn off the instant pot and open the lid carefully.
- Puree the zucchini soup with the help of an immersion blender until the texture turns nice and smooth.
- Now add the half and half and stir briskly until the dairy is well incorporated into the soup. Add the grated cheddar cheese and stir briskly until the cheese melts and incorporates into the soup. This will help thicken the soup.
- Serve the creamy zucchini soup garnished with extra grated cheese, crushed black pepper, and few drops of olive oil (optional). Enjoy!
- Spicy zucchini soup: If you prefer a spicy soup with a good kick, add 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes. You can skip the red pepper flakes and add 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
- Thickening soup: You do not need any thickener or slurry to thicken this healthy soup. The shredded cheese and the half-and-half would thicken the soup naturally.
- Optional garnishes: You can garnish the soup with fresh chopped chives or parsley, some shredded cheese, crushed black pepper, and drizzle olive oil.