Zucchini. Onion. Garlic. Basil. That's about all you need to cook up this soup. One my favorite batches came out of a hostel kitchen in New Zealand that miraculously had an immersion blender. No oven, but yes, immersion blender. So, while I roasted a head of cauliflower in the toaster oven, I buzzed up some zucchini sweated with onions and garlic to kick off the meal.
I'm giving you the basic recipe and a few variations, and I promise you'll be cooking this all spring and summer. It tastes great hot or cold and makes a great side or starter course, plus it's super light and healthy.
Zucchini Basil Soup
Yield: Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 25 min Total Time: 35 min
1 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4-5 medium zucchini, chopped
2.5 cups / 0.6 L vegetable stock or water
Large handful basil leaves
3 Tbs plain yogurt, Greek yogurt or kefir (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sweat for about 5 minutes, til onion is translucent.
Add zucchini and season with a good pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, another 5 minutes.
Add water, bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Turn off heat.
Add basil and blend til smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool a bit and stir in optional yogurt. (If soup is too hot, yogurt could curdle).
Ginger Jalapeno Lime: Add 1 Tbs minced ginger and half a minced, seeded jalapeno with garlic. Omit yogurt and finish with a squeeze of lime.
Mexican Corn and Cotija: Add kernels from one ear of fresh corn along with yogurt. Garnish serving bowls with toasted pumpkin seeds and a dusting of cotija cheese. You can also swap the basil with cilantro leaves, but use about half the quantity.
Creamy Leek: Substitute onion with 1 chopped leek. Replace yogurt with 3 Tbs half and half.
Super Green: Add 3 handfuls chopped spinach, kale or swiss chard along with zucchini. Add a touch of water to thin the consistency if it's too thick.