Creamy Basil Zucchini Soup

Photo: Annabelle Breakey
This creamy zucchini soup is a wonderful way to prepare summer's most bountiful squash - zucchini.  The flavors of fresh basil, chili powder, and yellow onion pair well with the zucchini.  Serve with thick baguette slices and fresh sliced tomatoes for a simple, satisfying meal. 

Yield:

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Recipe from

Recipe Time

Total: 45 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Calories 101
Caloriesfromfat 45 %
Protein 5.5 g
Fat 5 g
Satfat 1.7 g
Carbohydrate 11 g
Fiber 2.5 g
Sodium 440 mg
Cholesterol 4.7 mg

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 pounds zucchini, sliced 1/4 in. thick
4 cups reduced-sodium or homemade chicken broth
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, washed and stemmed, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons crème fraîche (see Notes), plus more for garnish
1/4 teaspoon chili powder, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt

Preparation

1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook another 2 minutes; then add chicken broth and 1 cup basil leaves. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 20 minutes.

2. Purée the soup in batches in a blender. Pour the soup through a strainer into a bowl, using a ladle to push any solid bits through. Add 2 tbsp. crème fraîche and 1/4 tsp. chili powder. Season with salt to taste.

3. Divide soup among bowls and garnish each with some crème fraîche, a sprinkle of chili powder, and a few basil leaves.

The Twist: Dress It Up. We love the simplicity of this soothing, mild soup, but to make it a little fancier, skip garnishing the soup with crème fraîche, chili powder, and basil in step 3, and instead halve 1 roasted red bell pepper, removing seeds and stem. Slice half into ribbons. Put the other half in a blender and purée with 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream. Strain into a bowl, then drizzle over soup. Top with bell pepper ribbons and toasted pine nuts.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1 1/2-cup serving.

Note:

If you can't find crème fraîche, just use sour cream.

Daniela F. Thompson, Lafayette, CA,

May 2008