This soup has become a favorite in our family. It has such a fresh taste and is quite healthy. We typically enjoy it with a salad and/or some crusty bread. You can include any vegetables that you like. I always use the leeks, onion, and carrot. Then I add any other vegetables I have on hand. All of the vegetables can be adjusted to your liking or to whatever is in season in your area. The key to this recipe is the fresh basil.
vegetable soup with fresh basil
1-2 leeks (white parts only)
1 small onion
2 stalks celery
1 medium zucchini or other squash
large handful green beans
2 medium carrots
other vegetables as desired (potato, mushroom, peppers, etc)
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons water
1/2 gallon chicken broth*
6 roma tomatoes, seeded
4 medium garlic cloves
about 30 large fresh basil leaves
salt & pepper
*You can substitute beef broth or vegetable broth if desired.
Coarsely chop leeks, onion, celery, zucchini, green beans, carrots, and any other vegetables.
In a large stockpot, combine 3 tablespoons olive oil with 3 tablespoons water. Add the vegetables (except for the zucchini, tomato, garlic, and basil) and cook over medium heat until the water evaporates and the vegetables soften. Do not brown the vegetables.
Add the broth and bring to a boil. Gently boil for about 30 minutes.
In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, basil, garlic, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Pulse until pureed.
Add the zucchini to the stockpot for the last 10 minutes. Then add the tomato and basil puree along with salt and pepper to taste. Let the soup get hot again, but do not boil. Serve garnished with fresh basil if desired.
recipe adapted from Wolfgang Puck, FoodNetwork.com