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Summer Soup

Zuppa di Estate

Serves 6

For this refreshing soup, made from fresh garden zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, and fragrant herbs, the vegetables are cooked separately to prevent overcooking, before being combined with the herbs and stock. Lemon juice and zest give the soup a refreshing clean taste.

Ingredients

1 pound very ripe plum tomatoes

1 1/4 pounds zucchini, sliced into thick rounds

3/4 pound green beans

1 tablespoon butter

1 medium white onion, diced

1/4 pound prosciutto, diced

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 cups Homemade Chicken Broth (page 14)

Fine sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste

Directions

In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the tomatoes for about 1 minute, just to loosen the skin. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes and let cool, then peel and dice them. Set aside.

Add the zucchini to the boiling water and cook until very soft, about 10 minutes. Using the slotted spoon, transfer the zucchini to a colander and drain well, then transfer to a food processor or blender.

Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Add half the beans to the food processor, and transfer the remaining beans to a bowl.

Process the vegetables in the processor until very smooth. Set Aside. Cut the remaining beans into small pieces and set aside.

In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and prosciutto and cook until the onion is soft and the prosciutto is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the basil and parsley and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the pureed vegetables, the remaining beans, the tomatoes, lemon zest, lemon juice, and chicken broth. Stir well. Reduce the heat to medium-low and bring just to a simmer. Season the soup with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls.

This recipe is from CELEBRATIONS ITALIAN STYLE by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1995.

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