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Cool Zucchini Soup

Cool Zucchini Soup
T. Susan Chang for NPR /

This is a very satisfying version of the zucchini-mint soup I so enjoyed. I've never quite figured out how to add the flavor of the mint while still preserving the smooth texture. I'm still working on it. But using mint as a fine herbal garnish works well, as does using basil.

Makes 4 servings

1/4 cup olive oil

2 small to medium zucchini, coarsely chopped

1 onion, coarsely chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

1/4 to 1/2 cup buttermilk, to taste

Salt and pepper

Basil or mint sprigs, finely chopped or julienned, for garnish (optional)

Place the oil in a heavy pot. Add zucchini, onion, lemon zest and a little salt to help draw out the juices. Sweat them, covered, for 25 minutes. Check and stir frequently. Don't let the zucchini brown. Don't overcook it, either, or it will take on an unappetizing olive hue.

When the vegetables are quite tender but not mushy, add the stock. Simmer everything together for 5 minutes.

Using a blender set on high, puree the soup in batches and strain it through a fine strainer or sieve, discarding any fibrous solids. Whisk in buttermilk to taste and chill at least 4 hours.

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