*Photo and Content Updated July 2012*
Inspiration: When I first ran across this soup recipe, I really thought that it had our names written all over it. For one, Brandon and I love basil and love anything that involves it. The idea of pureeing it in a soup seemed brilliant and was something that had never occured to me. And secondly, all of the fresh zucchini and basil really make this a great summer soup, which is a bit unusual and different (….just in case the mood for a soup happens to hit on a 90 degree day).
What we Loved: My best description of this soup would be that it tasted like a pesto soup. Amazing! I used a lot more basil than originally called for, and I also added a Parmesan rind to the soup as it cooked. When I mixed the shredded Parmesan in at the end, this really had a lot of the components of a classic pesto. The zucchini, which was the bulk of the soup, had such a smooth and subtle vegetable flavor and added a wonderful creaminess. I think I’d list this as one of my favorite soups to date.
Helpful Hints: The Parmesan was delicious mixed into this soup, so I’d recommend having plenty on hand. I originally wanted to saute some chopped prosciutto until it was crispy and use that as a topping, too, but my store was out of prosciutto. I still think that it would be a wonderful addition, though. Pine nuts would also be great and contribute even further to that pesto-like flavor.
Zucchini Basil Soup
Source: Adapted from Caviar and Codfish, originally from Gourmet
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 lbs zucchini, roughly chopped
3 cups stock (use vegetable stock to keep this vegetarian)
1 cup loose basil leaves
1 Parmesan rind
Kosher salt and black pepper
Parmesan cheese, for garnish
1. Heat a pat of butter in a pot over medium heat. Saute the onion until translucent, about 3-4 minutes, and then add the garlic. Cook for an additional minute.
2. Add the zucchini and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
3. Add the stock and the Parmesan rind, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Remove the Parmesan rind. Puree the soup along with the basil using a food processor or immersion blender.
5. Season with salt and pepper, and serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.