Zucchini Basil Soup
This is a very healthy, velvety soup. By adding the fresh spinach at the end of the cooking time, you retain its nutrients and turn the soup a beautiful shade of green.
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large onions, halved and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
- 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 8 large zucchini, trimmed, not peeled
- 10 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper (use black pepper if white is unavailable), plus more if needed
- 12 large fresh basil leaves, divided
- 2 large handfuls baby spinach leaves (about 5 loosely packed cups)
- In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are translucent but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Meanwhile, cut off one-third of one zucchini, cut it into ½-inch cubes, and set aside. Cut the rest of the zucchini in half the long way, and then cut it into ¾-inch-thick slices. When the onions and garlic are cooked, add the zucchini slices, broth, pepper and some salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Add 6 of the basil leaves, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Add the spinach, reserved zucchini cubes and the remaining 6 basil leaves, and turn off the heat. Let the soup sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender and puree for 3 full minutes, or use a food processor to puree the soup in batches. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Note: I teach baking classes in my home, but every once in a while I also teach a “science of soup” class. In this class, I show my students how to create their own pureed soups: Start with some fat, add onion, garlic, shallots or leeks, any spices and, after a few minutes, 2 pounds of a vegetables, cover with broth, bring to a boil, cook until done and puree. Armed with these basics, you can create your own signature soups.
- Excerpted from The New Passover Menu by Paula Shoyer. Copyright ©2015 by Paula Shoyer. Photos by Michael Bennett Kress. Excerpted by permission of Sterling Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.