Ingredients

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

Instructions

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.

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