Puréed Zucchini Soup with Basil Oil and Ricotta

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Recipe adapted from The Flavors of Southern Italy by Erica De Mane (John Wiley and Sons, April 2004).  

  • 6Servings


Basil Oil

  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb. small, tender zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 1 cup skim-milk or whole-milk ricotta
  • 1/4 cup 1% or whole milk


To make Basil Oil: In small pan of boiling water, blanch basil leaves for about 30 seconds. Transfer leaves to colander, and rinse with cold water. Squeeze basil, and put in food processor. Add olive oil, and process until puréed. Pour into small bowl.

To make Soup: Warm oil in large pot over medium heat. Add shallots and celery; cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to soften, 3 or 4 minutes. Add garlic, zucchini, cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini begins to soften, 2 to 4 minutes.

Add stock, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.

Put soup in food processor, and purée until smooth. Return to pot; add lemon juice, and add extra pepper, if needed.

In small bowl, mix ricotta with just enough milk to thin to consistency of yogurt. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Top with dollop of ricotta mixture, and drizzle with 1 teaspoon basil oil or more as desired.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 150
  • Carbohydrate Content: 11 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 5 mg
  • Fat Content: 10 g
  • Fiber Content: 2 g
  • Protein Content: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 1 g
  • Sodium Content: 270 mg
  • Sugar Content: 5 g