Zucchini Basil Soup or Coulis

One of the great things about this soup is how versatile it is. I’m not referring too how it can be used as a soup, a coulis or sauce, but to the fact it is delicious served hot or cold. That is, as a soup it is great to eat the first day hot since you just made it and it is still hot, but it is also just as delicious the next day served cold.


It is one of those soups that are perfect for Tahoe. Some of the nights are cool enough so a nice warm bowl of soup really hits the spot and then the days are still pretty warm and a cold soup makes for the perfect lunch.

As I mentioned, you can use this recipe as a soup, a coulis or a sauce. A coulis is a puree of fruit or vegetable. It can be cooked or raw and can be served warm or cold. When you think of a cream soup, it is a vegetable puree. A lot of restaurants will in fact call the soup of the day a puree of whatever veggie they are using and not say soup because it is different than the norm and will sound more exotic and appealing.


“Some of the nights are cool enough so a nice warm bowl of
soup really hits the spot and then the days are still pretty
warm and a cold soup makes for the perfect lunch.”


A coulis is generally served as a sauce or garnish. It will often be used as a decoration as it will be swirled onto the plate and then given that spider web look by running a toothpick through it with the main food item placed off-center over it. It might also be used to garnish a soup with it again swirled onto the soup.

In either case, the coulis will be a contrasting color that will stand out. It also will complement the flavors like raspberry compliments chocolate or roasted red pepper is common to use on soups and would in fact be great over the zucchini basil soup. Put this together and what you will find is it comes down to the portion and use of the puree as to whether it is called a soup or coulis. As a main course such as a cup or bowl and it will be a soup or puree, where as if it is a sauce for something or a garnish and it will probably be called a sauce or coulis.

Now that you are all able to go into a restaurant and know what they are serving, I will give you the recipe for zucchini basil soup.

This recipe also freezes well. So, whether you are serving it hot or cold, as a soup or coulis, try making this puree and enjoy.

Zucchini Basil Soup or Coulis
4-5 zucchini, sliced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 large red potatoes, peeled & sliced
36 oz. chicken or vegetable stock
1 stick butter
½ bunch of basil, sliced very thin

Sauté the onions and garlic on medium-high heat in the butter until the onion starts to turn a little translucent. Add the zucchini and sauté until they start to turn translucent and then add the potatoes. Keep sautéing for a few more minutes to let the potatoes start to break down and then add the stock.

Bring to a boil and then immediately lower the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for about 20 minutes and all the veggies and potatoes are soft.

Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Be careful when pureeing because the steam will force the cover off the blender. Only puree in small batches and start on low and then slowly turn up to high. Once the soup is pureed, season with salt and pepper and add the basil.


Smitty is a personal chef specializing in dinner parties, cooking classes and special events. Trained under Master Chef Anton Flory at Top Notch Resort in Stowe, Vt., Smitty is known for his creative use of fresh ingredients. To read archived copies of Smitty’s column, visit chefsmitty.com or TheTahoeWeekly.com. Contact him at [email protected] or (530) 412-3598.