Puréed Zucchini Soup with Basil Oil and Ricotta

Recipe adapted from The Flavors of Southern Italy by Erica De Mane (John Wiley and Sons, April 2004).

Recipe adapted from The Flavors of Southern Italy by Erica De Mane (John Wiley and Sons, April 2004).



Basil oil

  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb. small, tender zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 cup skim-milk or whole-milk ricotta
  • 1/4 cup 1% or whole milk


  1. To make Basil Oil: In small pan of boiling water, blanch basil leaves for about 30 seconds. Transfer leaves to colander, and rinse with cold water. Squeeze basil, and put in food processor. Add olive oil, and process until puréed. Pour into small bowl.
  2. To make Soup: Warm oil in large pot over medium heat. Add shallots and celery; cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to soften, 3 or 4 minutes. Add garlic, zucchini, cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini begins to soften, 2 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add stock, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Put soup in food processor, and purée until smooth. Return to pot; add lemon juice, and add extra pepper, if needed.
  5. In small bowl, mix ricotta with just enough milk to thin to consistency of yogurt. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Top with dollop of ricotta mixture, and drizzle with 1 teaspoon basil oil or more as desired.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size Serves 6
  • Calories 150
  • Carbohydrate Content 11 g
  • Cholesterol Content 5 mg
  • Fat Content 10 g
  • Fiber Content 2 g
  • Protein Content 5 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 1 g
  • Sodium Content 270 mg
  • Sugar Content 5 g
  • Trans Fat Content 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat Content 0 g