For this recipe I used baby zucchini from Trader Joe’s (pictured below) but medium sized whole zucchini will work just as well.
2T extra virgin olive oil
32oz zucchini (approximately, no matter small or large)
1 medium yellow onion
1 whole bunch of fresh mint, picked
salt to taste
1 whole bunch of fresh basil, picked
1/2c extra virgin olive oil
1/3c walnuts, toasted (at 350 for 5-7 minutes)
1/4c grated parmesan (can be omitted for vegan recipe)
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper as needed
Thinly slice onion and simmer on medium heat in a large sauté pan with EVOO for 5-7 minutes. Do not brown the onions, they should be lightly translucent. Chop zucchini and add to sauté pan, cooking until tender, approximately 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and toss ingredients, incorporating all flavors. Transfer to a bowl (keeping the vegetables in the pan will cause them to cook more) and set aside to cool for at least 20 minutes.
If you have a standard blender you may need to halve the cooked vegetables, water and mint for this next step. I used a vitamix and was able to just fit everything in. To be safe, start with half the cooked zucchini and onion mixture, 16oz water and half the bunch of mint and blend on high. Add salt if needed. Repeat for the second half portion of ingredients. Again add salt if needed. Make sure to combine both halves of the soup so the flavors are evenly incorporated. Place in a large bowl, pitcher or if possible, keep in the blender covered, and place in refrigerator to chill for at least a half hour.
For the pesto, I used my NutriBullet to blend the ingredients, but you can also wash and reuse your blender or a food processor. Add all ingredients to the device of your choice and blend by pulsing. The important tip here is avoid “over blending” the ingredients. Having a thicker consistency to the pesto will add texture to the soup.
Ladle 2 cups of chilled soup into a bowl and gently add a tablespoon of the pesto in the center. Insert spoon and enjoy!