Raw: Zucchini Soup with Fresh Corn and Basil


Today's post is going to be a quick one.

I'm busy cramming for nutrition school — which is actually why this recipe has come in so handy.

One — this soup makes a fast meal. Really fast. Like smoothie fast.

Two — this recipe is meant to be served at room temperature or chilled, which means it's perfect for heat-wave meal prep. You won't get sweaty making this soup or eating it. Well, maybe you will if you're like me and don't have A.C. at home. Regardless, turning on the blender sure beats firing up your oven or stove when it's hot.

Three — this soup takes advantage of summer's rich bounty of zucchini, which are overflowing at the markets and maybe even in your backyard garden these days.

Four — even better than that, it's delicious and way good for you.

Did you know that up to 70% of a vegetable's vitamins can be destroyed in the cooking process? Well, that won't happen here — the soup is raw!

Raw soup sounds weird doesn't it? Unless it's served in a restaurant and called gazpacho.

However, as strange as raw soup may initially sound to you, I can tell you this soup is tasty. On its own it may be a bit too subtle, but adding fresh corn and some nuts as a garnish really boosts the flavor while giving it a satisfying crunch.

If you've never eaten raw corn, you're in for a treat. I actually prefer it this way, although I must also admit a fondness for corn kernels sauteed with some shallots and high-quality butter. Raw corn, by the way, makes an excellent addition to salads and wraps. But if you're sensitive to corn, you could substitute with diced red pepper. I'm sure it would be just as lovely, plus red pepper is more nutritious anyway.

Five — this soup is for my friend Yoona, who asked me for some ideas for a chilled soup she could take to work. Yoona happens to be one of the funniest people I know. Check out her blog, Yoonanimous, when you get a chance, especially if you're a busy and/or working mom.

In the meantime, consider adding this raw zucchini soup to your repertoire. Especially if you're sitting on a crate of zucchini from a productive backyard garden, and you've already pawned some off on your neighbors and family.

After all, enjoying a light, nutrient-rich meal like this will help even the scales when you want to indulge in a piece of zucchini bread later.

zucchini soup - edible flower

Raw Zucchini Soup with Fresh Corn and Basil (makes 2 large servings or 4 small servings; raw, vegan)

For soup:
1 cup filtered water
2  zucchini, chopped
1 handful fresh spinach
zest from one lemon
juice from half a lemon
1 clove of garlic, chopped and/or 2 tablespoons chopped Walla Walla Sweet Onion
1 teaspoon white miso
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon hemp, flaxseed or olive oil
1 avocado, chopped
about 10 leaves of fresh basil, torn into pieces

For garnish:
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (raw) — I stand the cob upright in a mixing bowl and use a serrated knife so the kernels fall into the bowl as they're cut from the cob.
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (for garnish)
2 tablespoons pine nuts or pistachios — whatever you have on hand

Place soup ingredients, except for oil, avocado and basil leaves, into the blender. Process until creamy and smooth. Then add oil, avocado and basil and process briefly to blend (don't overdo it because the avocado can develop into a pudding-like consistency). Add more water if you want a thinner consistency. Pour into bowls and garnish with corn, chopped basil, and nuts of choice. Note: you can also chill the soup beforehand — simply add the garnish right before serving.

I like to serve this alongside a green salad dressed with a lemony vinaigrette, and some hard boiled egg or garbanzo beans  if we're jonesin' for some protein.

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