Even when midday temperatures reach the high 70s, I like to serve soup for lunch. It gives the campers and staff an alternative to the normal lunch fare.
This is the first year that I prepared zucchini soup with fresh basil. It's a nice in-season summer soup. You can serve it when zucchini is at its peak in the supermarket.
To puree the soup, you'll need a medium to large immersion blender. I used the camp's home-sized blender to puree the soup. It took about five batches, but worked as well. Just remember the immersion blender is a lot safer as there's less chance you'll to burn yourself from a blender explosion.
This recipe comes from the May 2008 issue of Sunset Magazine.
This picture shows the soup just after I placed the zucchini and onion in the stockpot.
CREAMY ZUCCHINI SOUP WITH BASIL
Use extra sour cream (or crème fraîche) and basil leaves for garnish.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 pounds onions -- chopped
8 pounds zucchini slices
3 cups fresh basil leaves
3-1/2 quarts chicken stock
1/2 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
1 teaspoon chili powder
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook another 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and basil leaves. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 20 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth (or puree in a blender and return mixture to pot). Strain if desired. Add sour cream and chili powder and stir to incorporate. Season with salt to taste.
Portion into bowls and garnish (if desired) with some sour cream or crème fraîche, a sprinkle of chili powder and a few basil leaves. Makes 6-1/2 quarts or 24 (6-ounce) servings.
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