When we spotted former first lady Barbara Bush’s zucchini soup recipe in the 1992 USO Celebrity Cookbook, we knew it had to be one the five dishes we tested in our cooking series. Both Barbara Bush and her husband, former president George H.W. Bush, have a long history of supporting the USO and its mission.

As noted in a 2010 USO blog post:

“President Bush’s father, Prescott Bush, served President Franklin Roosevelt as the second chairman of the USO, and as a young Navy pilot, President Bush spent time at USOs during World War II. The USO also played a significant role in maintaining the morale of American Forces during Operation Desert Storm when President Bush was commander-in-chief.”

Back in 1986, Barbara was honored as the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore Woman of the Year. More recently, the former first lady and her husband hosted a special event celebrating the USO at the George Bush Presidential Library Center in 2010. Given the Bush family support for the USO, it’s no wonder Barbara Bush decided to donate her zucchini soup recipe to the USO Celebrity Cookbook.

This soup is a delicious, simple and filling dish that is perfect to make during the fall when grocery stores are plentiful with fresh zucchini. Not only are all of the ingredients for this soup easy to find and cheap, but the entire dish is a breeze to make and can be whipped up in under an hour. Plus, it’s vegetarian, making it a perfect dinner option for Meatless Mondays!

Besides the ingredients, some elbow grease and patience, all you need to get this dish on the table is a large frying pan and a blender. All of the chopped zucchini, shallots, garlic and spices gets thrown into the frying pan to cook while everything else gets added in the blender later. Dinner prep really couldn’t get easier.

Although this recipe is intended to serve two, it can easily be doubled or tripled to serve a larger group. It can even be plated into smaller portions and served as a first course or for lunch.

A few other things to note, this dish can easily be adapted for different dietary needs. Although the recipe calls for chicken sock, any kind of sock will do. Also, for anyone avoiding diary, or planning to freeze this soup for later, the cream can be easily replaced with canned coconut milk.

Happy cooking!

Barbara Bush’s Zucchini Soup

Adapted from the USO of Pioneer Valley Celebrity Cookbook.

Serves 2

Ingredients 1 lb. zucchini (about 2 large zucchini) 2 tablespoons shallot (about one small shallot) 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tablespoons butter 1 tsp curry powder ½ teaspoon salt 1 + ¾ cup chicken broth (you can substitute beef or vegetable broth as well) ½ cup cream

Directions Chop clean, unpeeled zucchini into cubes. Dice shallots and mince garlic. Put all three in a large frying pan. Cook for 10 minutes. Add curry powder. Cook for 10-20 more minutes until vegetables are golden brown. Pour cooked vegetables into a blender and add chicken broth and cream. Blend until smooth. Re-heat in microwave to serve.