It's time for the annual gardener's lament, as in "What in the world am I going to do with all this fill-in-the-blank produce?"
One of the top offenders is the Cucurbita pepo, otherwise known as the zucchini or the courgette, if you want to be fancy.
The question is how much zucchini can you really eat?
Yes, yes, there's zucchini casserole and zucchini bread and zucchini fritters and stuffed zucchini. Heck, I even fried cheese-stuffed zucchini blossoms once. Now, there's a way to handle zucchini.
And, of course, there's zucchini soup, in this case, Mexican Zucchini Soup, a slightly spicy, creamy, cheesy sort of chowder. It's perfect for getting rid of an abundance of zucchini, but it's also great for using leftover corn on the cob.
It's pretty simple, really, which is key to summer soups. After all, no one wants to stand over the stove for hours when the temperatures push 90. Just saute the onions, add the rest of the ingredients and, because it doesn't take zucchini very long to soften, it's a quick 5-minute simmer.
The recipe calls for milk and cheese, but modest amounts so the result is a light, almost refreshing chowder. Also, most of the recipes I found for this soup called for processed cheese or Monterey Jack. I substituted pepper jack to give the soup a little more kick.
To be honest, I originally made this recipe to get rid of a bunch of zucchini I received from my CSA. Now, I'm looking forward to more so I can make more soup. Yep, you heard that right. I actually want more zucchini!
• M. Eileen Brown is the Daily Herald's director of strategic marketing and innovation, and an incurable soup-a-holic. She specializes in vegetarian soups and blogs at soupalooza.com.