Prep 15 mins
Cook 50 mins
Squash and basil are both warm season vegetables that you can plant in your vegetable garden after the last frost date in spring. One squash plant and one basil plant will provide more than enough ingredients for several batches of this chilled soup from the kitchen of Ashley's Restaurant at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas. Cooking time includes half an hour for chilling the soup. This can be made well ahead and served chilled but not icy cold.
- 1 onion, sliced into thin strips
- 5 small yellow squash (cut into quarters, and discard the seeds)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- water, to cover
For the Basil garnish
- 4 -5 basil leaves, chopped fine
- 1 lemon, grated zest of
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Cut the squash length-wise, discarding the cores with the seeds. You just want the flesh and skin. This is where the flavor is. The seeds are mainly water.
- Heat the onions in a saucepan until just soft.
- Add the squash and season with salt. Heat for another 5 minutes.
- Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and the cinnamon stick.
- Bring to a simmer and cook until the squash are tender.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and puree until smooth using an immersion blender or transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth.
- Chill the soup in the refrigerator for 30-minutes to an hour.
- To make the basil oil garnish, use a mortar and pestle to mash together chopped basil leaves, grated lemon zest, minced garlic and olive oil. You might also use a mini processor.
- Ladle the chilled soup into bowls, drizzle with the basil olive oil and serve.