I would have never thought to make soup out of zucchini had I not been handed a mini cup of it for breakfast at the Baguette Cafe one morning. But I will say that I am a changed woman after that cup and only a little bummed that I discovered this right at the end of zucchini season.
Now that we live over 300 miles from this delicious soup I decided I better get my act together and figure out how to make it, so I marched myself down to the Sunday Farmer’s Market and picked out the prettiest zucchini I could find and headed home on a mission.
I didn’t want to overpower the mellow flavor of the zucchini so I stuck to the basics: garlic, onion, vegetable broth, and of course the stars: zucchini, half & half (or cream) and basil. Start by sautéing the garlic and onions until the onions are browning just a bit, add the zucchini and then the veggie broth. Let the mixture cook long enough for the zucchini to soften.
Now it’s time to coax all the little bits into one harmonious bite. Enter the almighty immersion blender. If you don’t have one yet you better start buttering Santa up because it really is one of the most useful kitchen gadgets around. You can also use a regular blender to puree the soup until you make it on the “Nice List”.
Next comes the most important part – get out your mesh strainer and pour the soup through the strainer and back into your pan. This will make your soup velvety smooth. It may seem like an unnecessary step but I promise you that it’s worth it. Now add your half & half and basil, season to taste with salt and pepper and you have yourself a big pot of flavorful soup.
Oh yeah – A nice crunchy baguette is also a necessity so you can soak up every last bit of this soup.
Serves 4 with leftovers
Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 30 minutes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 zucchinis sliced with skin on
6 cups of vegetable broth (or 4 cups broth + 2 cups water)
1/2 half & half or heavy cream
Small handful of fresh basil
Salt & pepper
- Melt the butter in a large pan, add the olive oil and once hot add the onion and garlic with a little salt. Once the mixture starts to brown a little (about 7-10 minutes) add the zucchini and sauté for 3-5 minutes more.
- Add the vegetable broth and lower the heat a little. Let the flavors meld and the zucchini soften – 15 – 20 minutes.
- Puree mixture and then strain through a fine mesh strainer back into your pot. Stir in the cream and basil and then season with salt and pepper.