This soup is basically blended up zucchini. It has no cream in it (other than to garnish) yet it’s so smooth and rich. A summer time solution for all those garden veggies! WAIT I forgot about the popcorn to go on top! Guys, it’s so good! Originally published July 13, 2017.

creamy zucchini soup with popcorn.
Table of Contents
  1. Cream of Zucchini Soup with…Popcorn??
  2. Zucchini Soup Recipe Ingredients
  3. How to make Creamy Zucchini Soup
  4. Helpful Equipment
  5. Zucchini Soup Variations
  6. What to Serve with the Best Zucchini Soup Recipe
  7. Storing Leftover Creamy Zucchini Soup
  8. More soup to love!
  9. Creamy Zucchini Soup with Popcorn Garnish Recipe

We just got home from a week long trip to Eric’s tiny hometown in Montana, where his parents live. The population is about 5,000. It’s a nice change of pace from all the traffic and bustle here in Sacramento. It takes literally 5 minutes to get anywhere you want to go. Oh, except all the places you want to go that are 4 hours away. (Like Target.) But why go anywhere when the porch swing is calling?

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creamy zucchini soup being lifted by a spoon.

It’s a 21 hour drive to get there, so we got really comfortable hanging out in our van together. Basically we’re going to start sleeping in the van because we love it so much. Sometimes I just go sit in it to remember how awesome it was. <<SARCASM

I really shouldn’t be complaining. Our kids are pretty awesome for long car trips. I’m going to jinx myself!

Cream of Zucchini Soup with…Popcorn??

Last summer my mom, sisters and I had a girls weekend, and my sister-in-law Sandi pulled this soup out of the fridge for lunch one day. Her kids had been in the kitchen earlier making popcorn and there was some left out. My sister Laura topped her bowl of soup with some of the popcorn. Whaaat?

creamy zucchini soup with popcorn on top.

I thought she was crazy at first, until I tried it. I was totally blown away. A crunchy, satisfying soup topper that’s practically calorie free? (Also, popcorn is a whole grain, did you know?)

Laura served her mission in Ecuador, and told us that serving popcorn as a garnish for puréed soup is a thing there. She said that they serve any kind of soup purée with a bowl of popcorn on the side, so you can garnish at will. The popcorn gets soggy pretty fast, so you  have to keep adding more just a little at a time to get that magical crunch.

Zucchini Soup Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a quick shopping list for you! Scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for more details.

  • Butter and/or olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Zucchini
  • Better than Bouillon chicken base
  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic salt
  • Pepper
  • Popped popcorn (to garnish)
  • Cream, or half and half, to garnish

How to make Creamy Zucchini Soup

I asked Sandi how to make zucchini soup and she said she just takes a bunch of zucchini, steams or boils it, blends it up with butter and a little broth, and voila. I had to complicate things of course, by adding onion and garlic (totally worth it), but that’s about it. It’s so simple and a great way to use up zucchini if you have a ton from your garden.

chopped onions and garlic on a wooden cutting board.

Chop up your onions and garlic. Don’t worry about getting them the perfect size, they’re getting blended up anyway.

sliced zucchini in a bowl.

Slice up those zucchini and toss ’em in the pot.

Chicken Better than Bouillon base, cooking zucchini in broth.
I love Better Than Bouillon! It’s such an easy soup enhancer.

Helpful Equipment

popped popcorn in a popcorn maker.

Here’s our popcorn maker. I think Eric has had this since before we got married. (Did he steal it from you when he left for college, Kris??) He loves popcorn so much. You can buy one here on Amazon. It’s a really great little popcorn popper, we love it. It’s pretty foolproof. And a lot healthier than microwave popcorn in a bag, because you can add as much or as little butter as you want.

I didn’t even add salt or butter to the popcorn for this soup. You could of course, but the soup takes care of the flavor, so why bother? Although. I haven’t tried it, and generally everything is better the more butter you add, so…let me know how that goes.

Zucchini Soup Variations

  • You can also use yellow squash in this recipe; either replace or combine it with zucchini.
  • Try a different topping! Crushed tortilla chips, saltines, or anything else that’s crunchy, salty, and crispy passes the vibe check.
  • Add fresh herbs, in the soup or as a garnish! Basil would be awesome.

What to Serve with the Best Zucchini Soup Recipe

Zucchini soup is great with popcorn on top, but I love serving it with some crusty bread. Here are a few of my favorite recipes for something to dip in all that green goodness:

Quick and Easy French Bread Recipe >> the perfect fast, crusty, chewy loaf 

Garlic Knots >> oh yeah baby, these are so, so good!

The Best Garlic Bread >> I tried so much garlic bread to perfect this recipe…you’re welcome

Garlic and Rosemary Skillet Bread >> baked in a cast iron pan for amazing texture

a spoonful of creamy zucchini soup.

Storing Leftover Creamy Zucchini Soup

You can store this soup in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week, no problem. Keep the popcorn separate of course! 

Freezing Cream of Zucchini Soup

This soup is easy to freeze in a tupperware or ziplock. Leave the cream out and don’t drizzle it on until after defrosting and reheating. It’ll stay good for 2-3 months. 

How to Reheat This Recipe For Zucchini Soup

I like to warm up individual bowls of soup in the microwave at lunchtime. If I’m warming it up for my whole family for dinner, I’ll use a saucepan on the stove, on medium heat, stirring until it’s warmed through.

creamy zucchini soup with a drizzle of cream, popcorn.

More soup to love!

30 Minute Pea Soup (From a Bag of Frozen Peas) << this is soooo easy. Such a no brainer last minute meal. I love it.

Simple Asparagus Soup << love this one too.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup << this one is great for winter time.

Easy Cheddar Cauliflower Soup << this is one of my absolute favs. Can’t wait to try it with popcorn! (!! Cheddar popcorn?? Whaaat!!)

Roasted Tomato Soup with Parmesan (and popcorn garnish) from No. 2 Pencil

Sarah’s Popcorn Soup from Sarah Cooks the Books

Lima Bean, Zucchini, and Spinach Soup from A Beautiful Plate

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Creamy Zucchini Soup with Popcorn Garnish

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
This soup is basically blended up zucchini. It has no cream in it (other than to garnish) yet it's so smooth and rich. Also, POPCORN!!


  • 3 tablespoons butter and/or olive oil, any combination of the two is fine
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and then roughly chopped
  • 6 smallish zucchini, about 1 and 1/2 pounds
  • 2 & 2/3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons Chicken Bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Popped Popcorn, to garnish
  • cream, or half and half, to garnish


  • Heat a 10 inch wide pot over medium heat. Add the butter and/or olive oil.
  • When it is hot and shimmers, add the onions and garlic. Don’t chop your garlic too small, you don’t want to burn it. 
  • Saute for 5 minutes or so while you slice the zucchini.
  • Slice all the zucchini into rounds and add to the pot.
  • Saute for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is fork tender.
  • Add the water and chicken base, along with the salt, garlic salt, and pepper. Pro tip: now is a good time to sneak some zucchini from the pan. Glorious. Sometimes I wonder why we don’t just eat vegetables all the time.**
  • Continue to simmer another 10-15 minutes, until the zucchini is very soft. 
  • Use an immersion blender to blend the soup. Or transfer the soup to a blender, leaving the tab at the top open to allow steam to escape. Hold a towel over the top so you don’t spray yourself with zucchini lava. Blend in batches if necessary. Pour the soup back into the pot.
  • Reheat the soup on medium heat if necessary.
  • Garnish with a drizzle of cream and some popped popcorn! So fun!


*Use vegetable base if you want this to be vegetarian. Or you could use regular chicken or vegetable broth in exchange for the water + Better than Bouillon. (Use the amount of liquid the recipe calls for.)
**I remembered. It’s because of bacon.
Recipe is from Sandi, method adapted from Food and Wine.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 1004mg | Potassium: 515mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 731IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Calories: 119
Keyword: 30 Minute Recipes, creamy, soup, zucchini
Did you make this? I’d love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

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  1. 5 stars
    We’re in a streak of 90+HHH days.(a heat wave in Boston) I’m thinking of trying this as a chilled soup. What do you think? It reminds me of Gazpacho, for some reason. Served with some yogurt and lemon wedges, maybe with White Wine..

    1. Ooh yeah, that sounds delicious MaryAnn! I think it sounds like a lovely summer-bumper-crop alternative to traditional tomato gazpacho. Let me know how you like it! I think the popcorn garnish could also work when it’s chilled. Give it a try!

  2. The recipes r inviting. U mentioned tricks using an immersion blender n I was hopeful but only found hints 4 the blender. I’ve found it hard with the immersions bcuz it comes out of the pan. Should it b cold first n then reheated?  I
    I’m trying it off heat. 
    I’ve also found that evaporated milk is healthier than heavy cream n a lot less costly. Use much less 2 avoid watery soup!

    1. Hi George! No, I always blend my soup while it is hot. Just make sure the immersion blender is completely submerged to avoid splashing! Hope this helps!

  3. ThankYou!!!! For saying @ 1 1/2 lbs of squash. Your 6 smallish zucchini could weigh that; mine could easily been twice that, lol. 

    And! Cooled, unbuttered popped corn will actually stay fresh/crispy a couple days, if stored in an air-tight container. Although, who am i kidding? Who doesn’t finish the whole bowl…?

    1. It’s true, squash can end up being the size of a guitar, we wouldn’t want 6 of those! ;) Thanks for the tip about the popcorn! I usually eat the whole bowl too!

  4. This was soooo good. I admit, I was skeptic at first. I couldn’t see how zucchini, onions, and garlic would make a tasty soup. But, I’m now a believer! This soup is amazing…probably one of my faves. My store was out of the chicken base, so I used the Better than Bouillon Veggie base. Definitely a winner!

    1. Hey Christy, I’m so glad you liked it! I saw your instagram picture, it looked great! I’m glad you liked it with the veggie base. Thanks so much for the review! Have a great day!!

  5. We have zucchini coming out the wazoo right now so this will be a fun recipe to try. Thanks – very timely!

  6. My zucchini is just starting to produce fruit, so this is perfect timing Karen!

    And, I don’t think Eric stole the popcorn popper. My guess is we sent it with him to college at some point. I think mine is buried in a cabinet somewhere.

    1. Oh well that’s a relief. At least I don’t have that theft on my conscience :) You have to bust out your popper to put some popcorn on your soup! I’m telling you, it’s delicious!

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