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.
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 Velouté
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
- In a stockpot over low heat, warm the oil and sweat the onions covered, until softened and translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the zucchini, potato and stock and simmer, covered, for about 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and cooked through.
- 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.
- 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.