It’s culinary nirvana.

If I can find a recipe that uses the zucchini overflowing the garden, the fish overflowing the freezer and the bad habit I have of tinkering, I’ve found my peaceful kitchen place.

The curried soup we ate last night ticked off all those boxes. A healthy number of zucchini are sliced and sizzled in vegetable oil, along with onion and ginger (the recipe’s suggestion) plus garlic, jalapeno and lemon basil (my additions). A slurry of curry and coconut milk creates a fragrant poaching bath for white fish fillets (mahi mahi from our recent trip). Ladled up and served with a shower of cilantro and a slice of lime, the dish is filling, flavorful and just spicy enough to warm the back of your throat.

Everyone loved it — even the picky older boy.

Which makes this an even more enlightened dish.

zucchini fish soup

Curried Fish & Zucchini Soup (adapted from “Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix”)

  • 1/4 cup vegetable or grapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, coarsely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 sprigs of lemon basil (or regular), torn
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 4-6 mahi mahi fillets (or any other white fish), dried and seasoned with salt & pepper
  • 3/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 lime, quartered

 Heat the oil in a wide pot over medium heat.

Add the onion, zucchini, ginger, garlic, jalapeno, basil and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper, then saute just until the vegetables begin to soften.

Stir in the curry powder and cook for 1 minute

Add the coconut milk and water and stir until well-combined.

Place the fish fillets into the mixture, making sure they’re submerged. Let the liquid come to a boil, then remove the pot from the heat, cover it and let it stand for 10 minutes. Uncover and stir in the cilantro.

Place a fillet in each bowl. Ladle the zucchini-curry soup on top, then add a lime slice. This dish serves 4 to 6 peaceful eaters.