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Avocado gives this chilled zucchini soup a dose of velvety richness

Chilled Zucchini and Avocado Soup With Basil; get the recipe, below. (Deb Lindsey/for The Washington Post)
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Whether you have a vegetable garden, a share in a CSA (community-supported agriculture) or you are just trying to make the most of what’s bountiful and inexpensive at the market, this is the time of year you are probably wondering what to do with an excess of zucchini.

One solution to this enviable problem is this green goddess of a summer soup. It incorporates heaps of sliced zucchini that is simmered with sauteed onion and garlic in chicken broth (you could substitute vegetable broth to make it vegan) until the vegetable is tender. The mixture is blended with avocado and fresh basil, then brightened with lemon juice and zest before it’s chilled.

Cool and light, but creamy with the velvety richness of the avocado, it is a soup that is as refreshing as it is fulfilling. Not to mention, it makes a good dent in that supply of zucchini.

Scale, print and rate the recipe in our Recipe Finder:

Chilled Zucchini and Avocado Soup With Basil

6 servings (makes about 6 cups)

You can use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, to make the dish vegan.

MAKE AHEAD: The soup needs to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours, and up to 1 day, before serving.

From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 medium cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds zucchini (4 medium), trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½ -inch half- moon slices

¾ teaspoon salt, or more as needed

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (see headnote; may substitute vegetable broth)

Flesh of 1 ripe avocado

⅓ cup packed fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest and 1 tablespoon juice (from 1 lemon), or more as needed

Pinch ground white pepper

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, until it is softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the zucchini and the salt.

Add the broth and increase the heat to medium-high; once the liquid begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the zucchini has softened. Let cool completely.

Puree half of the zucchini mixture in a blender, then transfer the puree to a large bowl or storage container. Add the remaining half of the zucchini mixture to the blender with the avocado and the basil; puree until smooth, then add it to the first batch of pureed mixture.

Stir in the lemon juice, zest and the pepper. Taste, and add more salt and/or lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 1 day, before serving.

More healthful zucchini recipes:

Zucchini Oat Muffins; Zucchini Noodle Salad

Zucchini Pie (Kolokithopita)

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