This time of year I can never get enough zucchini. That is until I can’t stand anymore zucchini.
If you’ve ever tried your hand at growing summer squash you know that once it starts growing, it never seems to stop. Like bunnies of the garden, they seem to grow exponentially and overtake the whole garden patch. So, after you’ve made your share of zucchini pasta, zucchini carpaccio, and salads, well, it can get to be a bit overwhelming.
That’s when I turn to this super easy zucchini soup. It requires just a few minutes of stove time, a whir in the blender, and a few hours of chilling time. My favorite part is that it’s a healthy dinner recipe that’s so stand out, no one will ever know you were just trying to get rid of your bumper crop of zucchini!
Chilled Zucchini, Walnut, and Basil Soup Recipe
- Makes: About 8 cups
- Total Time: 45 minutes plus chilling time
- Hands-On Time: 25 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 pound shallots (about 6), halved and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 pounds zucchini (about 6), cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 cups toasted walnut halves, plus more for garnish
- 3 cups (about 2 ounces) packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1 cup lowfat plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add thyme and garlic and cook until fragrant.
Stir in zucchini, salt, and pepper, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is very soft, about 10 minutes. Add broth and simmer until zucchini is falling apart, about 20 minutes.
Place half of the zucchini mixture and half of the walnuts in a food processor fitted with a blade and process until smooth, at least 2 minutes (use caution when blending hot liquids). Transfer to a medium bowl, then repeat with remaining soup.
Set soup bowl into a large bowl of ice water, and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally until room temperature, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Transfer to the refrigerator to chill thoroughly, at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, blend or puree the basil, yogurt, and lemon juice together until smooth. (Soup can be made through this step up to 3 days ahead. Store soup and yogurt mixture separate and both covered in the refrigerator.)
Just before serving, stir in yogurt mixture, taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve topped with chopped walnuts, a drizzle of olive oil, and a few torn basil leaves.
Fine Print: I’ll be working with the California Walnut Board for the next few months to create recipes and share fun ways to cook with walnuts. Each month I’ll share one or two of the recipes I crafted for them and I hope you’ll enjoy them too!