by guest blogger Martine Bertin-Peterson,

Zucchini, that summer garden staple is just about ready to pick — or to buy at market. We all know zucchini in its tried and true forms — zucchini bread, grilled zucchini, fried zucchini, zucchini “spaghetti” (created with the recent “hot gadget,” the spiralizer) and for the very ambitious, stuffed zucchini blossoms.

Squash Zucchini

I wondered if zucchini could make a more formal appearance, something appropriate for a summer evening dinner party on the patio, under the stars. After a bit of experimentation, I came up with this delicious and elegant zucchini and basil velouté.

This recipe is suitable for even the most novice of cooks. As there are only a few ingredients, small, sweet zucchini and fresh basil are key. I like to serve this soup chilled with a dollop of creme fraiche and snipped basil on top.You could add croutons or diced zucchini instead. Not counting calories? Add a cup of half and half to the chilled soup before serving. The bright green color and luscious texture make this a lovely starter for a dinner party or a family meal.

zucchini and basil veloute; Martine Bertin-Peterson

Zucchini and Basil Velouté

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, peeled and cut into thin half moons
2 pounds zucchini, unpeeled and cut into a small dice
1 large russet potato, cut into small dice
1 quart chicken stock, preferably homemade (or substitute vegetable stock)
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Crème fraîche

HOW TO

  1. In a stockpot over low heat, warm the oil and sweat the onions covered, until softened and translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the zucchini, potato and stock and simmer, covered, for about 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and cooked through.
  3. Roughly chop the basil and add it to the soup. Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth and velvety. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add a dollop of crème fraîche just before serving.  May be served warm or chilled.

Martine Bertin-Peterson has the best of both worlds. She organizes amazing culinary trips to France, focusing on food and wine, and she teaches how to make simple, Mediterranean-inspired dishes in her cooking classes here in Bucks County. You can also get more delicious recipes on her blog, Bucks County Foodie.

Interested in Goût et Voyage’s cooking classes or culinary trips? Information on cooking class menus, client testimonials, travel itineraries and pricing can be found at www.goûtetvoyage.com.

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