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Zucchini Soup with Basil
© Tara Sgroi

Zucchini Soup with Basil

  • SERVINGS: 8
  • FAST
  • HEALTHY
  • MAKE-AHEAD

Croutons

  1. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 1/3 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
  3. Two 1/2-inch-thick slices country bread, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  4. Salt and freshly ground pepper

Soup

  1. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 3 celery ribs, peeled and diced
  4. 1 medium onion, minced
  5. 1 bay leaf
  6. 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
  7. 1 1/2 pounds small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  8. 3 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  9. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  10. 8 small basil leaves
  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over moderately high heat. Stir in the chopped basil, then add the bread cubes and toss to coat with the butter. Season the bread cubes with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, or until the bread cubes are lightly toasted and crispy. Transfer to a plate.
  2. In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the celery, onion, bay leaf and thyme and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 20 minutes. Increase the heat to moderate. Stir in the zucchini and stock, season with salt and pepper and simmer the soup until the zucchini is soft, about 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.
  3. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and reheat gently. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the croutons and basil leaves and serve.

Suggested Pairing

The pure, clean flavors of the zucchini soup are best paired with an equally delicate wine with good acidity.

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