Of all the fresh summer veggies in season right now, my favorites are yellow squash and zucchini. In fact, I often sauté 4-6 of them on Sunday nights so we can enjoy them as one of our side dishes all week! My love for summer squash first blossomed when I was learning to cook the summer after I graduated from college. I was living at home and my parents had a huge garden that was overflowing with summer squash. Every week I set about the task of finding a new recipe to use them in and I think this challenge really sparked my love of cooking because I had so much fun learning about all the different ways you could use one ingredient!
I recently saw a zucchini basil soup on a restaurant menu and immediately knew I wanted to recreate a healthy version at home. I thickened the soup with a potato instead of heavy cream and did my best to balance the bright basil with just the right amount of zucchini so that both flavors were well balanced. The raw zucchini on top was my favorite part because it added some texture to the dish. I can’t wait until I have my own garden full of summer squash!
Zucchini Basil Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large zucchini, shredded with a coarse cheese grater (4 cups)
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large stockpot and sauté shallots for 5 to 7 minutes or until soft; add garlic and sauté 1 additional minute. Add 3 1/2 cups shredded zucchini, potato pieces, and stock and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in basil and salt and puree soup until smooth with an immersion blender. Scoop soup into 4 bowls and garnish with remaining 1/2 cup shredded zucchini. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition: 199 calories, 4.2g fat, 6.9g fiber, 6.4g protein per serving
Cost: $1.52 per serving