Creamy Zucchini and Basil Soup

by on September 10, 2009
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Creamy Zucchini and Basil Soup

While I personally didn’t manage to coax a single squash out of my insect-infested garden this summer, some of you are lucky enough to be reaping in piles of the stuff. So the zucchini part of this recipe is for you. The basil part of it is for me: next to okra, it’s the most prolific crop I managed to grow this year. Combined, the two summery ingredients seem made for each other, the basil lending its pungent pepperiness to the bland zucchini.

Basil may provide the predominant flavor in this lively soup, but zucchini is the main ingredient. After cooking, it’s blended until smooth with the basil and other seasonings, and then the soup is served with strands of raw, shredded zucchini. The thin shreds soften in the hot soup but still retain some crunch.

We loved this. Even E, who usually avoids zucchini, finished her first bowl and went back for seconds. She described it as “like pesto in soup form,” and she’s right. We ate it as a starter course, but add some white beans and you’ve got a heartier, main dish soup. Give it a try before zucchini and basil go out of season.

Creamy Zucchini and Basil Soup

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{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ali September 10, 2009 at 11:04 pm

This soup looks great! I can't believe I have not been to your site before!

I love using cashews as a base for cream soups. My girls love "creamy" cauliflower soup made with cashews. I hadn't thought to try zucchini before, but why not, we have loads of it right now! -Ali :)

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2 Hanah September 10, 2009 at 11:14 pm

I keep stumbling onto your blog and I like what I see each time. Delicious and Healthy! This soup looks beautiful, thanks.

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3 Rose September 11, 2009 at 1:21 am

This soup looks delicious, i usually stick to making pumpkin or carrot soup, but i think i may try this one for something different!
Thanks for the recipe :)

Rose

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4 Trish September 11, 2009 at 7:40 am

Thus sounds really good and I have almost all in my fridge! I woke to 40 degree weather so soup sounds like an awesome lunch!

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5 Kelston September 11, 2009 at 7:47 am

You are incredibly creative. I will try this recipe for sure.

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6 Gena September 11, 2009 at 9:22 am

This reminds me of my zucchini soup! Except cooked, of course :) Delicious recipe.

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7 Chocolate Shavings September 11, 2009 at 9:26 am

That's a beautiful looking soup!

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8 HayMarket8 September 11, 2009 at 10:01 am

This looks very good. I love the flavor combination.

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9 Josiane September 11, 2009 at 11:49 am

Perfect timing! Our last CSA basket contained zucchini and basil – this soup will be a great way to put them to good use!

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10 Chow and Chatter September 11, 2009 at 12:40 pm

oh what a wonderful and healthy soup

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11 moonwatcher September 11, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Hi Susan–

Don't feel bad–I've only gotten ONE zucchini thus far. . .I'll maybe get one more. . .it's just not the year for them in my garden, either. But this soup looks great–it's so pretty–I love the raw curls on the top of it. I bet it's delicious, too.

Thank you,

moonwatcher

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12 A September 11, 2009 at 2:20 pm

This is the perfect soup!!!! It really looks great!!!
-A

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13 L from Germany September 11, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Hi, we had this soup for dinner tonight. Unfortunately my blender didn't work so well, thus the soup was not as creamy as shown in your photo, but nevertheless it tasted really delicious. I used roasted and salted cashews cause I had no naturals at hand, and it worked really well!!!
Thanks for your great recipes and I hope you'll go on blogging for a loooooong while !! :)

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14 outoftherabbithole September 11, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Thank you for posting the nutrition label! Words like creamy sometimes scare me, but when I see how the calories and other nutrients break out, its very reassuring.

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15 Anonymous September 12, 2009 at 3:04 am

Oh, Susan, this soup looks mouth-watering! Thank you!

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16 Anonymous September 12, 2009 at 10:39 am

Wow, this recipe looks great, gonna try it tonight. I LOVE your blog and am reading a lot of your archived entries.

My wife has gallbladder problems and so far, eating lowfat vegan with very few refined carbs (along with lots of supplements) is the only thing that keeps her from having attacks. (Google "my stupid gallbladder" to find her blog)

It has been challenging for me as the family cook to say the least. We've tried a couple recipe's so far and they have been quite good. I have gotten a lot of inspiration from your posts and it is so nice to be able to cook some things we can ALL enjoy as a family rather than my poor wife having a special (usually not so tasty) meal all to herself.

Thanks SusanV for all you do here!

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17 Anonymous September 12, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Hi Susan,
That not only looks great but tastes great, too. I could "feel" that soup when I read the recipe, and since I have plenty of zuzhini and basil in my garden right now, I just had to do it. And as I said, it is awsome!!
So simple and quick, too! My son loved it!
Regards from sunny Slovenia,
Polona

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18 sandrajayne September 12, 2009 at 2:46 pm

I made this soup today and it was honestly the best soup I have ever eaten. I followed the recipe exactly (unusual for me) and blended it in my vita mix. Thank you so much for the recipe!!

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19 Lisa September 12, 2009 at 5:04 pm

This sounds delicious! I too have tons of basil and zucchini to use up. Can't wait to try it.

Could you tell me a little about the nutritional yeast? This is not something I keep around, and I'm wondering if I should buy it just for this recipe? Is it crucial to the flavor, or could I maybe use some roasted pine nuts or a little cheese (sorry–I know you don't do cheese!) instead?

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20 SusanV September 12, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Lisa, the nutritional yeast just adds to the flavor, making it a little deeper. Roasted pine nuts would probably taste very good. A teaspoon of miso or soy sauce might also work, though both would add salt, so you would want to watch for over-salting. I won't comment on the use of cheese except to say that vegans often use nutritional yeast instead of parmesan. :)

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21 Lisa September 12, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Okay, thanks!

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22 Alisa - Frugal Foodie September 12, 2009 at 5:54 pm

mmm, I love cashews in soup, so bring on the fat!

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23 Ksenia September 13, 2009 at 4:37 am

Nuts are always great in "creamy" soups! I specially love a lentil pure recipe with roasted peanuts. Yummy!

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24 sarahk September 13, 2009 at 4:51 am

Thanks for another fantastic recipe, Susan. The soup is such a great combination of flavours. I made it for my dinner last night and I've got leftovers for lunch all week.

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25 Kata September 13, 2009 at 6:33 am

Thanks so much for the recipe, Susan! We've just finished lunch and your soup was amazing! :o)

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26 Michal September 13, 2009 at 7:30 am

This looks simple and delicious :)

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27 Anonymous September 13, 2009 at 6:52 pm

This soup looks great but I have a stupid question. Do I peel the zucchini?

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28 couchSpud September 13, 2009 at 7:13 pm

I think the joy of soup is somewhat lost on me. Don't you prefer to have some sort of crunch during your meal?

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29 SusanV September 13, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Anon, nope, the zucchini is unpeeled. Zucchini skin is very thin.

couchSpud, this was just one dish of a meal that included beans, a grain, and a salad. I used to not see the point of soup too, but now I really love it. Give it a try sometime!

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30 Anonymous September 13, 2009 at 7:54 pm

I just finished having this soup for dinner. YUM!

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31 Anonymous September 13, 2009 at 10:13 pm

this should be called, yummilicious zucchini basil soup! soooo good! now i now how to create the perfect creamy base, thanks for sharing it :)

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32 Elessar September 14, 2009 at 2:25 am

Ok, Susan, you have inspired me again, I have some yellow squash in the fridgea lot of tomatoes from my garden, some loong sweet peppers, raw cashews, lots of basil growing in the garden, fresh English garlic, no vidalias….i am going to work this one! May pick some rosemary to add. Thank you always for inspiration.

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33 Web Design September 14, 2009 at 4:25 am

ok now I am hungry. I am a vegetarian and proud of it. Can't turn vegan though.

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34 neta September 14, 2009 at 7:20 am

We just finished making and eating this delicous soup. Thank you so much for the recipe, it was amazingly easy and yummy.

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35 NICOLE M September 14, 2009 at 9:25 am

this looks stunning. my head turns everytime the words creamy and vegan and thrown in a sentence together let alone n a recipe!

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36 Parita September 14, 2009 at 9:29 am

Lovely combination of flavors!

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37 Anonymous September 14, 2009 at 10:22 am

Delicious soup! I follow Dr. Fuhrman's eating style and just water saute the veggies. Thanks for sharing!

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38 SusanV September 14, 2009 at 10:53 am

Personally, I don't think water is needed to saute the veggies, but to each his own!

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39 Anonymous September 14, 2009 at 11:07 am

This soup recipe is awesome…do you think it would be OK to freeze some? I know basil turns black on its own in the freezer but was wondering if the soup would "protect" it.

Jennie

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40 SusanV September 14, 2009 at 11:20 am

I think it probably would change color in the freezer, but maybe not too badly. If you try it, I would love to hear how it comes out.

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41 Snoozer von Grimlock WackyPig 3 September 14, 2009 at 12:33 pm

This recipe is truly delicious and so simple! I followed the directions precisely (which is not my normal course of action), and I don't think I would do anything differently. I'm hoping zucchinis will still be on sale next week when I go shopping again. What a great use of the basil I have growing in my window :)

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42 KamalKitchen September 14, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Looks great, Susan!Looks quite thick too.

thanks,
pb

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43 aprilstarchild September 14, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Just made this, except due to a housemate's allergy I used pine nuts instead of cashews, and put them in a food processor first. I also added a can of white beans, as suggested.

Delicious! Although not quite as creamy as your picture, but I was using a food processor instead of a vita-mix or other blender.

Next time I might reduce the amount of broth, and add soymilk later, to make it even creamier-tasting.

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44 K September 15, 2009 at 5:08 pm

I have no nutritional yeast..? What can I sub for it? (Cheese eater here…)

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45 Andy September 15, 2009 at 5:40 pm

We had a variant on this tonight – we used leeks instead of onions because we had leeks… was lovely. Thanks.

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46 jamiefriggin September 15, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Mmmmm, Susan! Made this tonight and just finished my first bowl. Will now go back for seconds. Outstanding! Thanks for sharing all of these terrific recipes!

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47 Elle September 17, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Wow! What a great tasting, creamy soup. I made this tonight and added white beans. It has been husband-approved! Thanks for sharing your recipes with all of us.

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48 Snooze September 24, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Whooeeey this is a good one! Being a true Vitamix junkie myself, I always enjoy testing it's limits to all the amazing things it does, so I just jammed all of the ingredients in it raw, put it on high until steamy and mmmmmm love love love! Thanks Susan!

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49 Tiffany S. September 27, 2009 at 11:03 am

This looks delicious! I can't wait to try it.

Nutritional yeast is one of those funny additions – it tastes yucky by itself but add it to a dish and it adds that extra pow. It's like a healthy MSG. I love it now though I was skeptical at first (and it's not cheap).

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50 katherine September 29, 2009 at 12:37 pm

i made this last night…i added a can of cannelloni beans into the blender as well…it made the soup just a bit thicker.

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51 Fayinagirl (means Free One) October 1, 2009 at 9:34 pm

I absolutely LOVE the color of this dish! It looks so inviting.

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52 KatieScarlett October 6, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Well, it's garden harvesting time and my counter is buried in zucchini and basil – and this recipe is a HUGE find!

I had to make adjustments because I'm allergic to onions and garlic and it still turned out fabulous I peeled and seeded the zucchinis, used carrot juice and water instead of broth, and added a litte bit of mace because of the carrot juice. After pressure cooking the whole thing, I added cashew butter, nutritional yeast, and some pepper. Oh my gosh it is SO good! I'm so happy to have so many zucchinis because now I can fill the freezer with this super great soup.

Thanks!

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53 KatieScarlett October 6, 2009 at 11:31 pm

p.s. I forgot to mention that I added lentils to the soup also. After pressure cooking and blending the soup the lentils added a thickness and richness. Yum.

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54 ben October 8, 2009 at 5:57 am

Recipe looks great, gonna' hafta' give it a try.

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55 Laina October 13, 2009 at 10:21 pm

Susan, this recipe is sooooooo delicious. It's another favorite. I blogged about it. :-) http://eats2live.blogspot.com/2009/10/susan-vs-creamy-zucchini-and-basil-soup.html

I really appreciate the benefits received from your vast supply of wonderful recipes.

Do you have another recipe you can think of that uses lots of basil. Love that herb. :-)

Thanks,
Laina

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56 Coupe Studios Music and Sound Design October 14, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Made this last night with the last of the year's zucchinis, and it was a huge hit! Stuck mostly with the ingredients you suggested, but went extra heavy on the yeast and added a carrot. Thanks for posting!

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57 sky goddess February 1, 2010 at 5:56 am

Thank you so much for this recipe, Thanks, I have now finally found a way to get my daughter to eat courgettes :) We're getting about four a day and there's only the two of us! I used miso for stock (but only about two cups) and some salted mixed nuts as that is what was in the cupboard, so I didn't add more salt. I also put in half a box of silken tofu (cos it needed using up) and extra cumin after tasting. Very yummy!

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58 Lora April 16, 2010 at 12:09 pm

I tried it was great

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59 Amy April 22, 2010 at 5:08 pm

My husband loves pesto and he gave this soup a big thumb’s up. We added a cup of white beans and 1/2 tsp of cayenne. Thanks for the great and easy recipe.

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60 Ms_Min July 11, 2010 at 4:11 pm

This is my new favorite way to eat zucchini. Yummy!

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61 Heather (Where's the Beach) July 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Oh this sounds fantastic. I have been craving zucchini – probably because I am out of them right now.

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62 Karen July 30, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I made this soup last week with my farmer’s market finds. I love the basil! I brought it to work and my coworkers said it smelled wonderful, if only they knew how good it tasted! Thank you so much for posting this.

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63 Jess August 4, 2010 at 9:45 am

Yet another wonderful recipe! I used toasted pine nuts instead of the cashews, and it tasted SO good! I also subbed a mixture of celery and carrots for the onion (allergic). I’m going to make this over and over, since my CSA keeps sending me pounds and pounds of zucchini :P

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64 Barna August 8, 2010 at 7:31 pm

just made this recipe tonight – both my hubby and I loved it! didn’t change a thing. will definitely be making it again. love your website!

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65 Victoria September 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I’m going to be making this lovely soup this week and will be leaving out the cashews :( in order to reduce the fats. Is there something else I should consider adding instead?

Great site! Made your Rainy Day Lentil Soup last night and it was terrific!

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66 SusanV September 28, 2010 at 3:39 pm

I would probably just add a touch more nutritional yeast. Hope you enjoy it!

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67 janet October 5, 2010 at 7:09 am

I really liked this soup. Thank you for introducing me to nutritional yeast.. and such a simple, but tasty soup. :)

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68 janet October 5, 2010 at 7:09 am
69 Vibha December 16, 2010 at 5:34 am

This is absolutely fantastic! I made it last night. My dad who rarely asks for a repeat to be made a few days, has asked for one!

This is so filling, satisfying and healthy! I think this is going to be my next comfort food!

Vibha

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70 Linda June 21, 2011 at 12:31 pm

This is a great recipe! The texture reminded me of cream of broccoli soup. I suspect on a cold winter’s day it would be even more satisfying. Sometimes it’s the texture of food you crave. The cashews produces a great cream, better than tofu, oats, or anything else I’ve tried.

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71 Bethany Luti July 3, 2011 at 4:17 pm

This was delicious! My store was out of raw cashews so I used unsalted roasted cashews. Amazing that it was so creamy, yet not a drop of cream! I am not vegan or vegetarian, but I am looking for ways to eat less meat and more vegetables…thank you!

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72 jpham July 28, 2011 at 1:14 pm

This was amazing! My only sub was I was out of cashews so I put 4 oz ff cottage cheese in for creaminess. I know not vegan, but I’m veg so works for me and got rid of the pesky fat.

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73 Suzanne July 30, 2011 at 8:08 pm

This recipe was a hit at our Vegan/Vegetarian tasting party. I had some very large zucchini from my CSA so I deciped to look on the internet for a recipe. Very tasty. Thanks.

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74 Julie & Marty August 9, 2011 at 8:44 pm

This was fantastic! Love it! Very, very tasty! Didn’t have raw cashews on hand so substituted tahini and that worked out great.

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75 tandteacake August 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm

I just love this recipe, Susan! And I’m not a vegan. ;)

In fact, I love it so much that I had to do a post about it:
http://tandteacake.blogspot.com/2011/08/creamy-zucchini-and-basil-soup.html

Thank you,
Tobias

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76 Christine August 20, 2011 at 9:11 pm

My whole family loved this soup….next time I will make double.
Thank you!

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77 Sue Bair September 13, 2011 at 10:55 am

Oh Yummy this looks great!

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78 Leena Komaraaju September 23, 2011 at 12:10 am

Hi Thanks for recipe for this extremely delicious zucchini and basil soup. To add to your marvelous recipe, I would like to share something on the health benefits of basil in particular which is a remarkable medicinal herb. It can also be made into a soup on its own. http://tinyurl.com/3uz4zzw.

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79 Amelia March 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm

I just finished a giant bowl of your soup. It’s so good! I had to stop myself from eating the whole pot. Thank you.

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80 Kathleen July 14, 2012 at 11:33 am

Just made the zucchini basil soup….deliciously creamy! Thank you fir this wonderful fat free recipe!

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81 Leah July 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm

I love this soup! Thank you so much! I’ve been looking for a great recipes that I can make with my homegrown foods (squash, cucumber and tomatos mostly). Can’t wait to surf around your site and pull up other yummy recipes!!

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82 Sarah July 31, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Just made it and it is AMAZING!!!! I did add lentils and sprouts on top to make it a little more hearty to eat as a main dish.

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83 mimi August 5, 2012 at 3:01 pm

This is a fantastic recipe. I made it as written, adding a bit more garlic, Ms. Dash (garlic herb), a bit of cayenne, T of cajun browning liquid, 2 T lemon juice and doubled the cashews and nutritional yeast. Fantastically easy and soooo soooo good. Thank you!

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84 Jennifer August 16, 2012 at 6:32 pm

A-MAZING! I searched your site looking for something to do with my zucchinis and this soup was it. This was SO delicious and CREAMY!! A real winner. Thank you so much for your fantastic recipes!!

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85 Claudia August 22, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Thanks Susan for posting this delicious recipe! I made it a few nights ago and it was beyond delicious! I didn’t blend the soup long enough, though, because it wasn’t as smooth as yours is in the pictures. Also, mine was way lighter in color than yours is in the pictures. I skipped the cashews, but ended up putting it over whole wheat pasta as a pasta sauce of sorts. My hubby LOVED it! :-)

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86 Radhika Sarohia December 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Looks delicious!
I like both basil and zucchini:)

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87 debalou3 May 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm

This soup was wonderful….and so easy!! Plus another chance to make “noodles” with my new toy..

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88 Brenda July 6, 2013 at 11:01 am

WOW!! I didn’t expect this soup to have as much flavor as it does!! REALLY tasty and satisfying!!

I’m not much of a zucchini fan, but our CSA just delivered the hugest zucchini I’ve ever seen, plus a batch of basil and onions (and lots of other goodies). A search on your site, Susan, for “zucchini” brought up this tasty recipe!! Thanks again for another great (and EASY!!) recipe.

Picture here (sans the cute zucchini swirls on top!!):
http://smu.gs/13AMLKe

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89 Tanya July 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Hi! Just wanted you to know that I made this raw. I just put it all in the Vitamix and puréed it. Maybe next time I’ll use less onion (a little over powering) and start with 2 cups of broth and build from there but overall it is a winner. I served it cold. Thanks for the inspiration!

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90 Laura Powell September 9, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Wow, looks tasty! We cannot eat any dairy or gluten, plus we are vegans, so I am finding and inventing as many great recipes as possible. I am growing a couple kinds of basil indoors. I found freezing directions for basil and also zucchini, so it would be wonderful to enjoy this soup any time of year. I love your blog! Easy to follow. These dietary changes are fairly recent. At first I was stumped, bummed, and hungry, but now I wish everyone could enjoy all these scrumptious recipes! I will stay tuned to FatFree Vegan for more ideas. Thank you for the recipe to help us eat all this basil!

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91 clare September 10, 2013 at 1:32 am

I made this last week and loved it. I’d tried to recreate the taste of my old version of courgette soup from the days when I used oil and dairy and hadn’t been able to make anything I was happy with …….until now. The addition of the cashews is inspired ! It makes the soup so creamy and full bodied with an acceptable amount of fat per portion. Our fresh basil here in Cyprus is very strong so I had to use less but it is a wonderful combination. Thanks Susan.

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92 Bobbi July 15, 2014 at 6:25 pm

This soup was fabulous! Thank you!

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93 Eileen July 15, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Thank you so much for this amazing recipe. My husband brought in 5 large zucchini from his garden tonight and I was in a panic figuring out what to do with them all before they spoil. I sent him back out for Basil and Scallions. I made this wonderful soup and the zucchini fritters from your website and both were absolutely delicious! Two zucchini down and three to go :-)
Tomorrow will be your zucchini muffins and your farro grilled zucchini salad.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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94 Esther J July 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm

This was so simple, quick, and full of flavor.

I made it as is, except I added more pepper at the end.

Perfection!

Thanks again, Susan! :)

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95 Julie August 8, 2014 at 11:29 pm

The first time I made this soup a few weeks ago I nearly swooned because it tasted so delicious! We have had some bowling pin sized zucchini’s that seem to hide from us while they are “medium” sized and then suddenly, bam, they are huge. If the peel seems rather tough we just cut it all off and run the zucchini through the kitchenaid shredder before cooking it, rather than chopping it. The sweet onions are available this time of year too and seem to go perfectly with zucchini. We like to serve this soup over cold quinoa, which helps cool it down and makes the soup so filling it is almost a meal in itself. Once I got carried away and probably doubled the basil, don’t do this, it ruined the subtlety of the flavors. I leave out the salt and pepper as well, finding Seitenbacher Vegetarian Vegetable Broth flavorful enough. You’ve outdone yourself on this one Susan!

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96 Carrie August 22, 2014 at 1:05 pm

I only discovered this recipe a few weeks ago. It’s absolutely delicious! I add a little more basil and use less broth but otherwise the same. Today I used patty pan squash since I had so much. Outstanding! I now have both zucchini and patty in the freezer for cold winter days.

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97 Ainsley September 26, 2014 at 5:03 pm

OK. I think this might be THE best soup I’ve ever eaten. I made a double batch, and it’s awesome.
Is there any chance that you are thinking of writing a cookbook? I would loooooove that.

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