3 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil, or a combination
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 medium potato, preferably high-starch (“russet” or “baking”), peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or a pinch of dried thyme
Salt and black pepper
4 medium zucchini, trimmed and diced
2 medium ripe (but still firm) pears, peeled, cored and diced
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or use water
Mint leaves for garnish (optional)
Put butter, oil or combination in a large skillet over medium heat; when butter melts or oil is hot, cook carrot, onion, potato and thyme with a healthy sprinkling of salt and pepper. Stir occasionally, adjusting heat so vegetables do not brown. When onion is softened, about 5 minutes, add zucchini and continue to cook until everything is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
Add pear and cook until it has softened, about 5 minutes more. Add liquid and bring to a boil; taste and adjust seasoning. Cool mixture, then puree (If you have an immersion blender, this is as good a place for it as any). Serve soup cold or reheat and serve hot, garnished with mint, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings.
Per serving: 236 calories; 10 g fat (6 g saturated fat; 38 percent calories from fat); 34 g carbohydrates; 25 mg cholesterol; 840 mg sodium; 7 g protein; 6 g fiber.