I love experimenting with rich, complex recipes every now and again. I do. But let’s face it: summer’s running out, and I don’t want to spend these last, gorgeous sunny days tethered to the stove or working my way through complicated prep steps. (I’ll have all winter for that.)
So I was delighted to receive a recipe from my sister-in-law Lauren for a zucchini basil soup that’s not only delicious, but splendidly easy to make. (Especially if you have an immersion blender!) It also happens to be a great way to use up the zucchini that may or may not appear on your front stoop on Thursday, a.k.a. Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night. (What? You don’t have that on your calendar? Click here to fix that right now!)
Anyhow, this savory soup tastes great with all kinds of mix-ins and toppings, so you can easily make it your own. It’s also good hot or cold, perfect for the steamy dog days of August—or cool nights, if you’re lucky enough to get a few. In fact, you may just want to make a double batch—it has a way of disappearing from the fridge!
As an added bonus, you score over half a pound of vegetables in a single serving of soup. (Which is super handy if you’re trying to put away two pounds of veggies a day.)
Crazy Easy Zucchini Basil Soup Recipe (Low Fat, Vegan)
Adapted from Lauren’s recipe. (Thanks, Lauren!)
Prep Time: 30 min Serves: 4 (makes 6-7 cups)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 + 2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 large zucchini (2 pounds), trimmed and sliced
cooking spray (I use olive oil in a Misto)
4 cups veggie broth (no-salt-added homemade or low-sodium from the store) or water
⅓ cup packed basil leaves
1-2 handfuls baby spinach (optional, for extra-gorgeous green color)
½ tsp salt, or to taste
Coat a large, heavy pot with cooking spray. Saute onion and 4 cloves of garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add sliced zucchini and saute for another 5 minutes.
Add vegetable broth and simmer, partly covered, for 15 minutes (zucchini should be tender).
Remove from heat. Add 2 cloves chopped raw garlic, basil, spinach, and salt. Puree in the pot with an immersion blender, or in a regular blender in multiple batches.
Serve and enjoy!
Make it your own
Anything that adds a little extra texture or crunch would be delicious! Possibilities:
- Lemony cashew cream and toasted sliced almonds (what I used)
- Crushed whole-grain crackers or rice cakes
- Toasted pine nuts
- Vegan sour cream
- Fresh corn kernels (good!)
- White beans (haven’t tried, but I bet would work well)
Nutrition Info (¼ of recipe, using no-salt homemade broth + ½ tsp salt): 58 calories, 7 calories from fat, 1g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 321mg sodium, 697mg potassium, 12g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 5g sugar, 4g protein
For a more decadent take on zucchini, try some rich chocolate zucchini truffles. (If you’ve never tried zucchini for dessert, you’re in for a treat!)
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