My Favorite Summer Soup!

My Favorite Summer Soup!

When Jack was a toddler and he would try to say the word “using,” it always sounded like “losing.”

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So, for example, when someone would ask where the phone was, instead of saying “Mama’s using it,” Jack would shout:

“MAMA’S LOSING IT.  MAMA’S LOSING IT.”

And because the truth is so funny, I would always burst into laughter. As a mother, I do feel like I am losing it sometimes! Losing my memory, for one.

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Like, I used to remember measurements in recipes, and directions to my favorite spots. Not anymore. Now I’m lucky if I can remember to put on deodorant in the morning. (Don’t worry, when in doubt, I always reapply.)

Just this weekend it struck me that it’s been at least a year (or two?) since I’ve made one of my favorite soups. It’s a blended soup made with zucchini, spinach and basil, which may sound like a strange combination, but they’re just lovely together. Promise.

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Perfect timing, too: With summer here, fresh zucchini and basil are plentiful in Texas, so this soup is definitely going back on our regular menu!

Here’s the recipe; hope you get a chance to try it :)

Blended Zucchini-Basil Soup

Serves 4 to 6 as a first course

There’s so much to love about this soup! For one thing, the ingredients (onion, garlic, zucchini, spinach, broth, and basil) are all affordable, accessible, and chock-full of vitamins. Even better: The finished product is — at once — light and delicious and warm and comforting. The best part? I think it’s the garnish … the finely ground toasted pecans, which add a rich, nutty flavor, plus extra protein and a satisfying crunch. You can add grated Parmesan cheese, too, for additional yumminess!

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ sweet yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1 ¼ pound zucchini (about 5 medium zucchini), trimmed and chopped into chunks

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

3 cups packed baby spinach

3-4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or stock of choice)

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

For Garnish

1 cup unsalted pecan halves

Shredded parmesan cheese, optional

Instructions:

In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook onion in oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

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Add chopped zucchini and 1 teaspoon salt. Add 3 cups broth or stock (save remaining 1 cup to add, if desired, after blending). Cover and simmer until zucchini is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

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Add 3 cups baby spinach and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.

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Add 1 cup basil leaves. Stir and continue to simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes.

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While soup is simmering, toast pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat, about 4 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning.

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Place toasted pecans in small food processor. Process pecans until finely ground. Transfer to small serving bowl and set aside.

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Remove soup pot from heat.

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Using a large ladel, transfer half of the soup to the bowl of a large food processor or blender. (Be careful when moving and blending hot liquids!). Process soup until pureed and smooth. Transfer to a separate bowl. Repeat with second half of soup.

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Transfer all soup back to the original pot for serving.

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Taste soup for seasoning and texture. Season with additional salt as needed.  You can also add the remaining 1 cup veggie broth now if you prefer a thinner soup. Then serve soup, warm, in small bowls (or coffee cups!) with a sprinkle of ground pecans (and parmesan cheese, if desired) on top. Store left-over soup in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. During warmer months, soup can be served room-temperature or even chilled, like gazpacho.

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7 Responses to My Favorite Summer Soup!

  1. January June 1, 2016 at 10:11 am #

    Can’t wait to make this, Marie! Looks wonderful!

    • Marie Saba
      Marie Saba June 1, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

      Awesome January! I think you’ll love it! Happy Summer! xo, Marie

  2. C. Slack June 12, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

    Just made this – was WONDERFUL. Picky 8 year old even ate it :) Didn’t have pecans, so subbed out toasted pine nuts. Looking forward to leftovers tomorrow cold! Great use for all the basil growing in my garden.

    • Marie Saba
      Marie Saba June 14, 2016 at 10:06 pm #

      So glad to hear Cathleen!! Love the pine nut idea, too! Okay I need your tips on basil — our mint is flourishing but our basil always dries up :( Hope you guys are having a wonderful summer. Love to your sweet family xo, Marie

  3. Joan Foote July 18, 2016 at 6:45 pm #

    Im Wendy Thompsons aunt who visited you with my sisters a few years back! I just made the zucchini basil soup and woW! We loved it! even my husband was surprised! I am growing a few basil plants and zucchini is cheap these days so I had everything on hand! I should have browned the pecans in the oven cuz I burned a few ( and ate them) but thought the nuts and parmesan a great touch!!
    Thanks!!

    • Marie Saba
      Marie Saba July 25, 2016 at 8:06 am #

      Hi Joan!! Great to hear! Thanks so much for leaving a note :) I’m so glad to know you guys enjoyed the soup as much as we do! Hope you are having a wonderful summer! Hugs, Marie

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