If you are using extra large zucchini, scoop out and discard the seeds first. And if the skin is thick or tough, peel it and discard the peels.
To make gluten-free: substitute the bread with 1 cup of chopped potatoes, cooked or uncooked, or cooked rice. If you use uncooked potatoes, you may need to simmer the soup a little longer. Or you can add a little cream at the end of cooking to help thicken it—just don't boil the soup.
Don't like mint or cilantro? Try substituting with basil or parsley.
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 jalapeño chile (or more to taste, depending on how spicy you would like the soup to be), seeds, stems and ribs removed and discarded, chopped
- 3 chopped garlic cloves
- 2 pounds chopped zucchini (skin on), about 5-6 cups
- 1 1/2 cups chopped day-old bread (or 1 cup rice or cooked or uncooked potatoes)
- 3 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegetarian or vegan option)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (spearmint), loosely packed, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, loosely packed, chopped (optional)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- Lemon wedges (for garnish), optional
1 Sauté the onions and jalapeño: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and the chopped jalapeño, and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until the onions are translucent, but not browned.
2 Cook the garlic and zucchini. Add the garlic and zucchini to the pan and sauté for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle with salt.
3 Add the bread and liquids: Add the bread, broth, and water, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes. (Note: If you're using uncooked potatoes instead, you may need to simmer a little longer, depending on what kind of potatoes you use.)
4 Purée the soup: Remove the soup from the heat. Add the mint and cilantro (if using). Purée in a blender or food processor until smooth, working in batches if necessary. (You can also use an immersion blender.)
5 Add lemon juice, salt, pepper: Return the soup to the pot. Add the lemon juice, along with salt and pepper to taste.
6 Garnish and serve: Garnish with lemon wedges and sprigs of mint or cilantro. Serve hot or chilled. Keeps for up to a week in the fridge.