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with Fresh Zucchini & Herbs

Another day, another zucchini. As I’ve mentioned, I love soup even in the summertime. This weekend I finally picked up an immersion blender/whisk, one of the most convenient tools for any cook’s arsenal. And it passed its first test with flying colors! I browsed recipes last week for some inspiration and found this lovely spicy soup on Simply Recipes (http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/spicy_zucchini_soup/). I’ve only made tiny changes to the ingredients or their measurements. I ate the soup chilled the day I made it and warm for lunch (my office is freezing!). It is quite spicy, but also very refreshing with the cilantro. I used a whole jalapeño with all the seeds, but I have a high tolerance for that sort of heat. A very nice purée, not grainy in texture like baby food. A tip if you’re using tough skins or are going for a more refined and not rustic consistency is to strain after simmering. Bon appetit!

Ingredients: 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, 1/2 red onion chopped

1/2 jalapeño, minced

2 chopped garlic cloves

1 medium zucchini, skinned if tough and cubed

1 medium yellow squash, skinned if tough and cubed

1 c water

1/2 c fresh basil and cilantro

1/2 lemon squeezed and zested

3 c chicken broth

2 slices stale wheat bread, cubed

sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil, chopped onion, and jalapeño in a large pot for 5 minutes. Add zucchini squash and garlic, sauté for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt.

2. Add bread, broth, and water and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and lightly simmer for 15-20 minutes.

3. Turn off heat, add chopped herbs. Puree on low with hand blender (or blend in batches in a processor) until completely smooth and no chunks remain. Add lemon juice, salt, and ground pepper to taste. Serve at any temperature and strain if desired. et Voila!