Zucchini, Red Pepper and Basil Soup – A Recipe Makeover

Zucchini and Red Pepper Basil Soup

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The completed Zucchini and Red Pepper Basil Soup

Zucchini can seem a little bland to me. I’m liking this soup makeover mostly because I added some lemon for a zing as well as a hot pepper for some pizazz. This is one of my most recent recipe makeovers. I have plans to redo many soups in the future and I will be:

  • cutting calories and trimming fat from some favorite recipes
  • adjusting so they are vegetarian, gluten-free as well as vegan – where I can
  • adjusting dried herbs for fresh herbs
  • adjusting processed foods for natural and/or organic – where I can
  • adjusting highly acidic forming recipes to be more alkaline forming (healthier for you)

This soup makeover is:

  • vegetarian
  • vegan (exclude the parmesan from recipe or use a soy-based alternative)
  • gluten-free


  • 6 cups zucchini, cut in medium-sized chunks
  • 3 cups water
  • 1.5 cup chopped onion
  • 1 red or orange pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small sweet hot pepper chopped finely (take out seeds)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup packed basil leaves chopped
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • garnished with finely chopped tomato and freshly grated parmesan

Cooking Instructions:
Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; sauté about 8 minutes (until onions are soft). Add chopped zucchini, red pepper and 3 cups water, after 5 minutes adjust down to a simmer (reduce heat) for about 10-15 minutes (until zucchini is soft).

Add chopped basil, lemon juice, lemon zest, hot pepper in blender and then vegetables. Puree soup in blender until very smooth (work in batches if you need to).

Return soup to pot. Add some water if you wish to thin out the soup a tad more. Simmer 5 minutes for flavors to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish soup with some finely chopped tomatoes, small basil leave and freshly grated parmesan and serve.

Original Recipe that I tried and adjusted: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Zucchini-Basil-Soup-242831

What I changed from original recipe:

  • adjusted the 1/4 cup of oilve oil down to 2 tablespoons
  • adjusted 3/4 cup of onions up to 1 cup
  • added freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • added red pepper
  • added sweet hot pepper
  • added lemon zest
  • added tomato and parmesan garnish
  • omitted julienne zucchini – looked kind of odd and I wanted an alternative garnish with contrast

Soup Mistress Rating for Zucchini Basil Soup Recipe Makeover:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (4.5/5) 
Taste: (4 /5)


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