This recipe is adapted from Chef Annie Wayte's Keep It Seasonal: Soups, Salads and Sandwiches (William Morrow, 2006).
Wine recommendation: A Chardonnay, particularly a Puligny-Montrachet. "The steeliness and creaminess will go well with the creaminess of the soup," says Wayte.
2 tablespoons extra - virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
3 pounds zucchini, trimmed and cut into Â½-inch dice
3 shallots, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 bunch fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
8 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini and sauté for about 12 minutes, until the squash is lightly colored. Then add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 5 more minutes.
Add the stock to the zucchini and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Transfer about two-thirds of the soup to a blender or food processor and purée. Return it to the remaining soup in the pan and set it over low heat. Add the cream and reheat the soup, stirring continually to prevent the soup from burning. Stir in the basil, mint and Parmesan until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Pour the soup into 4 individual bowls and finish with a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.