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Creamy Zucchini, Basil, and Chickpea Soup

I finally have a garden and managed to grow a few zucchini and a crazy amount of basil with minimal care or attention (my thumbs are not green, but I love free food). I’ve been making this soup all summer and have tweaked a few things. It’s by memory now; currently eating a bowl from a batch I made while talking to Jenna the entire time (speaker phone while chopping). 

Every time I made this for dinner I’d come up with a side that contained protein, usually a grilled cheese sandwich. Don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, but beans have minimal flavor, maximum protein, and would yield an even creamier soup. I added a can of chickpeas because it was all I had on hand and besides a slightly thicker texture, couldn’t even tell they were there. Now I make it this way every time, and just serve it with toasted Ezekiel bread with coconut oil (and kosher salt), my kids fave accoutrement. They both love this soup, which surprises me because it’s green.

Lastly, a kitchen tip.  I keep a ramekin of salt next to my stove so that I can “salt as I go”; this creates layers of flavors. As you make this soup, salt the onions as you start but salt with a light hand at the end, tasting as you go. Your chicken broth could contain more salt than what I used, and this could affect the flavor. Pretty easy, right?

Creamy Zucchini, Basil and Chickpea Soup

Serves 8

1/4 c. olive oil

1 large (or two small/medium) onions, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press

1 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 tsp. black pepper

2 lb. zucchini (about 3 medium), ends trimmed and chopped

4 c. low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

1/2 c. packed basil leaves

1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium high heat. Add garlic, onions, 1 tsp. of salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Saute, stirring occasionally, about five minutes.

2. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, about five minutes.

3. Add broth and turn heat to high. When liquid reaches a boil reduce heat to medium low and simmer about 10 minutes until zucchini is tender.

4. Add basil leaves and beans and puree using a stick blender or by transferring to a food processor or blender.

6. Return to pot (if transferred) and add salt to taste.