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Drink Your Zucchini


Zucchini is one of those amazing vegetables that can be used in everything from ratatouille to quick bread. One of my favorite uses is this soup.

I serve the soup with crisp Parmesan cheese toasts to counter its creamy smoothness.

A shopping tip: The recipe, like so many others, calls for just two tablespoons of tomato paste. Instead of opening a can and letting the rest turn into a science project in the back of the refrigerator, try using the tomato paste that comes in a tube. You can use what you need and the next time you need it, it won't have grown anything.


Zucchini Soup

Parmesan Cheese Toasts

Zucchini Soup

Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes * Active Work Time: About 15 minutes * Easy * Vegan-Adaptable

3 to 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large or 2 small onions, chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 inner stalks celery, chopped

2 pounds (about 6) zucchini, trimmed, halved and sliced into thin 3-inch chunks


1 tablespoon chopped basil


Bring pot of chicken stock to boil, then reduce to simmer.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large pot over high heat. Add onion and stir occasionally to prevent browning. After about 3 minutes, add tomato paste. Stir over high heat about 1 minute. Add celery, zucchini and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally about 3 minutes.

Add 3 cups hot stock and simmer 10 to 12 minutes over medium-high heat. When vegetables are soft, use regular or immersion blender to puree. (If using standard blender, puree soup in 2 batches.) Warm soup over medium heat if needed after blending. Add additional chicken stock if needed to thin. Garnish with fresh basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4 servings. Each serving: 146 calories, 1276 mg sodium, 1 mg cholesterol, 8 grams fat, 13 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 1.51 grams fiber.

Parmesan Cheese Toasts

Total Preparation Time: 13 minutes * Active Work Time: 3 minutes * Easy * Vegetarian

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic


2 rounds pita bread

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Mix together butter, garlic and dash salt. Split pita breads at edges into 4 circles and spread butter mixture thin on inside of each round. Cut each round into 4 wedges. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Lightly sprinkle with paprika. Toast in toaster oven or oven at 350 degrees until bubbly and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

4 servings. Each serving: 105 calories, 780 mg sodium, 18 mg cholesterol, 7 grams fat, 8 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 0.02 grams fiber.





Olive oil





Parmesan cheese

Shopping List

1 bunch fresh basil

1 bunch celery

2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans chicken stock

1 package pita bread

1 (4 1/2-ounce) tube tomato paste

2 pounds zucchini


30 minutes before: Begin boiling stock. Remove butter from refrigerator to soften for Parmesan toast.

28 minutes before: Chop zucchini, celery, onions and basil. Grate Parmesan cheese.

22 minutes before: Saute vegetables for soup.

15 minutes before: Add stock to vegetables and let simmer.

14 minutes before: Prepare Parmesan cheese toasts.

5 to 3 minutes before: Puree soup

Just before serving: Garnish soup with basil.

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