Lambley Gardens & Nursery, 395 Lesters Road,  Ascot,  Victoria 3364
Phone +61 (03) 5343 4303,  Fax +61 (03) 5343 4257

Italian Style Zucchini and Parmesan Soup with Basil

Criss made zucchini and basil soup last week. The recipe was sent to us by an old friend of mine. A friend I’ve known for almost all of the 60 years I’ve lived in Australia. Criss was able to make the soup with our own home-grown ingredients. I grow an F1 hybrid zucchini called Nitro. It is by far the best that I’ve ever grown. It knows its place and doesn’t sprawl all over the place. It’s very productive and has good resistance to powdery mildew. This trait means that it will keep producing long after other zucchini varieties have long succumbed. We are almost into the middle of April and it has been super cold for this time of year but Nitro F1 is still cropping well in our garden and showing no sign of mildew.

The basil we cultivate is a strain which tolerates cold weather better than most. Called Gold Fields Basil it can be sown a month earlier than most other strains (We sow in early November) and crops well into late April as long as it isn’t allowed to flower. I’ve cut each plant about six times. I finely chop and sweat 1 medium size onion first … then follow recipe from there … Be generous with the Basil

Formal Instructions:

750g green zucchini

extra virgin olive oil

6 cloves garlic
1 bunch basil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 litres chicken stock
125ml pure cream
40g unsalted butter chopped
40g parmesan grated, plus extra

Heat a little olive oil in a heavybased saucepan and add garlic, basil and a good pinch of sea salt
Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, so the zucchini starts to soften

Add the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat tolow and simmer, uncovered for about 8 minutes

Pour the soup into a blender and pulse until well pureed, but not completely smooth if you want to have a bit of texture. Retuen the soup to the saucepan and stir inthe cream, butter and 40g parmesan.

Divide the soup among four bowls, add a good grind of fresh pepper and sprinkly with extra grated parmesan.