Summer Squash Soup

A light and satisfying summer soup made with chickpeas, farm fresh yellow summer squash from Shade Valley Produce at the HCC Realty Farmers Market/Colonial Village, and rainbow Swiss chard from Twin Gardens at the Schaumburg Farmers Market.

Ready in about 30 minutes, this soup is perfect for a weeknight meal. Check out our Eat Local Series for more local produce inspiration.

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Summer Squash Soup

Summer Squash Soup

  • Author: Fresh. Out.
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Soup, Weeknight Meals
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan


Summer Squash Soup with rainbow Swiss chard and chickpeas.


  • 2 yellow summer squash or yellow zucchini, roughly peeled, quartered and chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves, divided and minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can reduced sodium chickpeas (or 1 1/2 to 2 cups homemade, cooked)
  • 2 packed cups chopped Swiss chard leaves, stems removed and reserved
  • 4 cups unsalted or low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided


  1. Reserve 1 garlic clove, 1/4 tsp dried basil, and generous pinches of salt and pepper and set aside in a small bowl. To a separate small bowl add whole bay leaves, oregano, and remaining basil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Heat a large pot over medium heat, then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the onions. Cook over medium-low heat until translucent and starting to brown (about 5 minutes). 
  3. While onions are cooking, mince 4 garlic cloves and separate the chard leaves from the stems. Slice the leaves lengthwise, then slice into 1″ strips and place in a large bowl. Trim then chop the stems into 1/2″ think pieces and set aside separate from the leaves. 
  4. Add the minced garlic to the onions and stir. Cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes, then add a cup of water to deglaze the pan. Add the spice mixture with the bay leaves and vegetable broth, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. 
  5. While broth is simmering, drizzle the remaining tablespoon of oil over the chard and toss to coat, then sprinkle with the reserved spice mixture. Mince the last garlic clove and add to the bowl and toss to season evenly. Set aside.
  6. Roughly peel the squash (leave some strips of skin), trim the ends, and quarter lengthwise, then cut into 1/2″ thick pieces. 
  7. After the broth has simmered 10 minutes, add the chard stems and chickpeas, then cover and simmer another 5 minutes. 
  8. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat then add the seasoned chard leaves. Cook one minute, then stir, remove from heat, and cover.
  9. After the chickpeas and chard stems have simmered for 5 minutes, uncover soup pot and return to a boil. Add chopped squash, cover, remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Don’t overcook the squash – leave it with a bit of crunch. Remove lid, add lemon juice and additional salt and pepper, to taste.  
  10. Divide wilted chard leaves between six bowls, top with soup and serve with lemon wedges, if desired. Alternately, you can add the wilted chard directly to the soup when ready to serve.


Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container up to 4 days. 

Freezing is not recommended, as it makes the squash mushy.



Shade Valley Produce employs chemical-free farming practices and sells fresh seasonal produce and eggs at their on-farm market, which is located at 5240 E. Knoup Rd. in Dakota, IL. Call 815-275-2610 for hours visit their Facebook page, or find them at the HCC Realty Farmers Market/Colonial Village on Friday mornings all summer long.

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