Best Zucchini Basil Soup
2 pounds zucchini (trimmed and cut crosswise into thirds)
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups water
1/3 cup packed basil leaves
Skin from half of zucchini with slicer toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and drain in a sieve until wilted, at least 20 minutes. Coarsely chop remaining zucchini.
Cook onion and garlic in oil in a 3- to 4-quarts heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add chopped zucchini and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
Add 3 cups water and simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 15 minutes. Purée soup with basil in 2 batches in a blender.
Bring remaining cup water to a boil in a small saucepan and blanch zucchini 1 minute. Drain in a sieve set over a bowl.
Season soup with salt and pepper. Serve in shallow bowls with zucchini mounded on top.
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