Creamy Zucchini Basil Soup

A great light lunch or dinner (make sure you have bread on hand), or a terrific first course, this recipe comes together quickly, uses only a few ingredients, and is delicious any time of year.


– ¼ C of neutral (canola, vegetable) oil – 1 medium onion, chopped – 2 cloves garlic, chopped – ½ tsp of red pepper flakes, or more to taste – 2 lbs of zucchini, trimmed and chopped – 3 C of water – ⅓ C of basil leaves, packed – salt & pepper – extra-virgin olive oil 

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat, then add the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the zucchini, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt, and cook 5 minutes more. Add the water and simmer until the zucchini is tender, around 15-20 minutes.

Transfer half the zucchini mixture to a blender, add half the basil, and puree until smooth, and transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with the other half of the zucchini mixture and basil. (Or, if you have an immersion blender, you can add the basil to the zucchini mixture and puree the whole thing right in the pot.) Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with a drizzle of olive oil over the top.