Inspired by one of our favorite freelance recipe testers, Sarah Reynolds, this sublime summer soup can be served warm or cold. If you have the time, pour soup into a serving bowl after it’s pureed, then cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- In 5-quart saucepot, heat oil on medium. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring. Add water, tomatoes, zucchini, red or yellow pepper, crushed red pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and basil sprig; heat to boiling on high, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium; cook, uncovered, 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Discard basil sprig. Transfer 3 cups soup to blender. With center part of cover removed to allow steam to escape, blend the 3 cups soup until pureed. Return soup to saucepot; heat through if serving warm. Garnish with basil leaves to serve. Makes 8 cups.