Zucchini-Basil Soup with Parmesan & Walnuts

Zucchini-Basil Soup with Parmesan & WalnutsI seem to have the same problem every time I head to a cabin for a couple of days: I use taking a few hikes as an excuse to eat like a lumberjack.

Matt and I spent Labor Day weekend along Lake Superior’s North Shore.  We worked up quite an appetite, sitting by the lake, reading and half-heartedly fishing, so having a total meat-fest felt totally deserved.  Ugh…that is, felt deserved until I woke up at home, still smelling faintly of campfire, with a mad meat-hangover.  Suddenly, the idea of a grilled steak or breakfast sausage seemed revolting.  I needed vegetables.  Greenery.  Nothing smoky.  Something light, fresh.  Zucchini, basil.  Soup.  Soup heals all.

Sailboats in Grand Marais Harbor

In addition to being a worthy antidote to a meat-heavy holiday weekend, this zucchini soup is a good transition between summer and fall eating.  We’re still going to use our summer produce and a light hand, but the cool mornings and evenings are pushing us towards fall flavors so we’ll opt for a few crushed walnuts and shavings of parmesan to garnish.  It’ll be good, it’ll be easy, and it’ll the perfect cure for my over-meated-belly.

Ingredients for Zucchini-Basil Soup

Let’s get the soup on.  Grab a few zucchini, a potato, a bunch of basil, an onion, and a clove of garlic and get chopping.

Prepped Ingredients for Zucchini-Basil Soup

Sauté the chopped zucchini, diced onion, minced garlic, and grated potato in olive oil until the veggies start to soften and color.  Season, then cover with stock and simmer. Inhale.  Ahh…soup.

When the zucchini is sufficiently tender, remove the soup from heat, toss in a handful of basil leaves, and puree.  Taste, sharpen the flavors with a squeeze of lemon, season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls, scatter a few toasted walnuts over the top, and garnish with parmesan curls.  Soup heals, vegetables make things right, and I’m getting over my meat-hangover already.

But don’t go looking for any new pork chop recipes for at least a week.

Zucchini & Basil Soup

5.0 from 1 reviews
Zucchini-Basil Soup with Parmesan & Walnuts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Simple, pureed soups lend themselves to creative garnishes. I went quick and easy here, with a few toasted walnuts and shards of parmesan, but enjoyed leftovers garnished with pesto-smeared crostini and oven-dried tomatoes.
Recipe type: Soup, Lunch, Dinner
Cuisine: American, Summer, Fall, Vegetarian, Could be Vegan
Serves: 6
  • 4 medium Zucchini, cut in ½ in. chunks
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 medium Yukon Gold Potato, peeled and grated
  • 1 plump clove Garlic, minced
  • 4 c. Vegetable or Chicken Stock (homemade or low-sodium)
  • ½ c. Basil Leaves
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Kosher Salt, Freshly Ground Black Pepper, Olive Oil
  • Toasted Walnuts
  • Parmesan
  1. Heat about 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, onions, potato, and garlic to the pot. Stir to coat with the olive oil and season with about 1 tsp. salt. Sauté until the zucchini and onions start to color slightly. Add the stock, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, 20-25 minutes. Allow the soup to cool slightly.
  2. Add the basil leaves to the soup then puree, using an immersion blender or food processor. Taste. Season as needed with salt, black pepper, and 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice. Reheat, if necessary.
  3. Ladle the soup into bowls. Using a vegetable peeler, make curls of parmesan to sprinkle to use as a garnish, along with a few crushed walnuts.




  1. Jennifer says

    I love zucchini, basil and lemon together. I’ve made a similar soup without potato and served it cold. The addition of walnuts and parm is tempting me to make this warm version!

  2. Lynn says

    Hi Sarah, any idea on the weight of “4 medium zucchini”? I have some garden zucchini that do not qualify as “medium” and was looking for an equivalency. Two pounds, maybe? Thanks. The soup looks yummy!

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