Use the tender leaves of watercress for the pesto, and discard the stems. You can also substitute arugula if watercress isn't available. Serve this soup either warm or chilled. If reheating leftovers, cook over medium-low heat just until hot; the butter-milk could curdle if allowed to boil.
1/2 cup chopped leek
1/2 cup chopped celery
5 cups chopped zucchini (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup fat-free buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup watercress leaves
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
How to Make It
To prepare the soup, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add leek and celery; sauté 4 minutes. Add zucchini; sauté 5 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until zucchini is very tender. Remove from heat, and cool slightly. Place half of zucchini mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour into a medium bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining zucchini mixture. Stir in buttermilk, salt, and pepper.
To prepare pesto, place watercress and remaining ingredients in blender; process until smooth (add more water if necessary). Drizzle pesto over the soup.
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