Years ago, one of my best friends would go to the farmer’s market, load up on zucchini and fresh basil, and make a batch of soup. I always looked forward to it. Because even in the height of the summer, this soup made complete sense. It was creamy without any cream, used garden fresh ingredients and was savory in the best ways.
While my friend and I continue to be close, life has taken us to different U.S. coasts. We chat on the phone, and see each other every year or so. And when we’re lucky, we cook for each other, and share a meal with our partners.
As my garden exploded with basil and zucchini this year, I couldn’t help but think of him. And so, I share with you my rendition of his vegan zucchini soup recipe. It’s quick, easy, and uses few ingredients. And tastes great with a panzanella salad on the side!
I usually blend it until it’s super smooth, but sometimes, I leave it somewhat chunky. Do what feels right to you. This recipe may need some additional salt. With so few ingredients, salt can make a big difference in how it all comes together. So, give it a taste, and see if it’s needed.
Zucchini Basil Soup
2 cups yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
10 cups zucchini, cubed
4 ½ cups broth (I used 2 1/2 Edward & Sons Not-Chick’n Bouillon Cubes mixed with 4 1/2 cups of water)
2 bay leaves
1 cup fresh basil, packed
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1. In a very large pot, add onions, olive oil and a dash of salt. Sauté over medium-high heat until onions are slightly golden (~5-7 minutes), then stir in garlic. Stir around another minute.
2. Stir in zucchini, and then, add broth and bay leaves. Cover with lid, bring to a boil, and then, turn down to a simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the zucchini is very soft.
3. Remove from heat. Then, fish out the bay leaves. Add fresh basil, lemon juice and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth (either add to a blender or use an immersion blender). Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed (salt? more lemon juice?). Serve.