Zucchini and basil soup


  • Serves 6 people

  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1.5 kg small green zucchini, diced (about 15)
  • 1.2 litres hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • ¾ cup (firmly packed) basil, coarsely chopped, plus extra leaves to serve
  • To serve: thinly sliced toasted baguette and goat’s curd
  • Tempura zucchini flowers
  • 150 gm (1 cup) plain flour
  • 50 gm cornflour
  • 1 egg
  • 400 ml iced mineral water
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • 12 zucchini flowers, stamens removed
01   Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat, add onion and garlic, stir occasionally until tender (7-8 minutes). Increase heat to high, add zucchini and stir occasionally until bright green (2-3 minutes). Add stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until just tender (10-12 minutes). Stir in basil, then purée in a blender or with a hand-held blender until smooth. Season to taste, keep warm.
02   Meanwhile, for tempura zucchini flowers, combine flours in a bowl. Whisk egg and mineral water to combine in a separate bowl. Gradually whisk into flour mixture, adding extra water if necessary to reach desired batter consistency. Set aside to rest (15 minutes). Preheat oil in a deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 180C. Dip zucchini flowers in batter, shake off excess and deep-fry in batches, turning occasionally, until golden (3-4 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper and season to taste.
03   Serve soup hot topped with extra basil leaves, with tempura zucchini flowers, toasted baguette and goat’s curd.
Note At the Lake House, Alla Wolf-Tasker serves house-made goat’s curd with this soup. We’ve used a good-quality shop-bought cheese instead. Small zucchini are best for this recipe as they’re young, tender and sweet.

This recipe is from the November 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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