This Chilled Zucchini Basil Soup with Lemon Garlic Cream is a summertime dream dish. Great as a starter or add your favorite protein for a perfect, super quick one-bowl meal.
Well, it’s that time again. Zucchini season. The abundance of my favorite veggie at the grocery, farmers markets and home gardens everywhere, means a new year to get creative and find new ways to cook up this tasty little green squash.
I personally find zucchini to be incredibly versatile, stepping in as noodles like spaghetti or fettucini or even rice noodles in Pad Thai. It works well in desserts like cookies or muffins, it makes amazing savory fritters, shoot it’s even amazing in smoothies.
I really enjoy pureeing raw or slightly cooked zucchini, as it brings a really hearty creaminess without the need for dairy, dairy alternatives or nuts.
The combination of the fresh peppery basil with the lightly sautéed zucchini comes together in a new way, for a classic summerflavor pairing. Topped with the lemon garlic cream, you get a bright, pop of flavor and color swirled on top.
This Chilled Zucchini Basil Soup with Lemon Garlic Cream is a wonderful starter or side to any summer meal, or top with grilled chicken, shrimp or even scallops for a full meal.
Summer squash of both the yellow and green variety are a surprisingly great sources of minerals, providing a valuable amount of copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and iron. Zucchini is also a good source of Vitamin C, with one medium zucchini having well over half your daily needs. You’ll also get other antioxidants like vitamin A, superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSHpx) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase). Zucchini are also high in B vitamins. Most of these nutrients are found on the peel, so always leave that nutrient-dense peel on there, dudes!
Zucchini are also quite hydrating, given how much water they contain, along with carrying anti-inflammatory properties and it’s great for digestion providing a good amount of fiber.
- 1 tablespoon Terra Delyssa Organic Olive Oil, grass-fed butter or ghee
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced or sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, chopped or minced
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- 1¾ lbs zucchini, with about ¼ lb saved to be spiralalized or julienne cut, for garnish
- 2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- Lemon Garlic Cream
- ½ cup unsweetened plain yogurt or dairy-free yogurt, sour cream, creme fraiche or coconut cream*
- 1 small garlic clove, pressed
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Make the Lemon Garlic Cream Making ahead allows the flavors to really come together. Whisk together yogurt, garlic, and lemon zest in small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
- Make the Soup. Chop or dice onion. Heat a medium pot over a medium-high heat and add the oil or butter. Once hot, add the onion and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic. Stir and cook for another minute.
- Meanwhile, trim the zucchini and cut into half moon shapes. Reduce the heat to a medium-low and add zucchini to the pan. Cook stirring occasionally until just barely tender (about 5 minutes). You don't want it to brown. Remove the pot from the heat. Add the veggies to a bowl and allow to cool to luke warm or cooler.
- Working in batches, as needed, add the veggies, the broth and the basil to the pitcher of your high speed blender or food processor. Whirl soup in a blender or food processor until very smooth (about a minute per batch).
- Pour the pureed soup in a large bowl or sealable container. Cover and chill until totally cold.
- When ready to serve, swirl in the lemon garlic cream or yogurt, if using, and add salt to taste (note that soup requires a sprinkle of pepper, if you like.
- You can make the soup up to 2 days ahead. Store the soup and yogurt mixture separate and both covered in the refrigerator.