A Zippy Paleo-Friendly Soup Puts the Accent on Zucchini and More

A Zippy Paleo-Friendly Soup Puts the Accent on Zucchini and More

In just a couple weeks, you’ll likely crave a heartwarming soup. I know, it’s 80 something degrees right now, but believe me … those chilling autumn days are nearly here.

This is the time that I like to review my soup recipes and think about cooking up big batches vegetable-packed soups that I can also freeze for later enjoyment. 

One of my all-time favorite recipes for soup comes from Arsy Vartanian, author of Rubies and Radishes (www.rubiesandradishes.com) She was gracious enough to allow me to publish their Provencal Vegetable Soup recipe in my Paleo Cookbook for Dummies.

Three reasons why I’m crazy about this soup:

1.  A Paleo lifestyle is all about focusing on vegetables … the more the merrier! Here, a wonderful combo of squash, zucchini, carrots, leeks and more blends to create a heavenly taste. (By the way, there are two schools of thought on whether zucchini is a fruit or vegetable. The scientific definition of a fruit is that which is formed around or by the seed bearing part of a plant, and a zucchini contains seeds, therefore it’s considered a fruit by many. Most chefs consider it a vegetable.)

2.  The recipe is reminiscent of Provence in France. When the soup’s aroma begins to waft through your kitchen, you virtually get to take a mini vaca to Southeastern France, where stews, vegetables and delish soups are a way of life.

3.  It’s the best recipe I’ve seen for showcasing the tons of zucchini that appears in my life come fall. There’s only so much zucchini bread or muffin a girl can take, right?  I’ll take my autumnal gourds in a satisfying bowl of soup any day! (Incidentally, zucchini also stars in two of my other fave zucchini recipes: Beef-Stuffed Zucchini and Zucchini Pasta with Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce … both are in the Paleo Cookbook for Dummies).

If you don’t have the Paleo Cookbook for Dummies, please enjoy the Provencal Vegetable Soup recipe below. And do let me know what you think! I enjoy learning from readers how they sometimes like to tweak recipes a la Paleo style.


Prep time: 20 min • Cook time: 30 min • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts, washed and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 medium summer squash, chopped
  • 6 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Fine sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the ghee in a large stockpot. Add the leeks and sauté until soft, about 7- to 8-minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, celery and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add the remaining vegetables, the vegetable stock and the herbs. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for 30-minutes or until the vegetables are tender  
  4. Salt and pepper to taste before serving.  

Tip: If you can't get your hands on any fresh tomatoes, substitute jarred diced tomatoes. 

Recipe Courtesy of Arsy Vartanian (www.rubiesandradishes.com).