• Recommended for: Diarrhea, Poor Appetite, Difficulty Swallowing, Sore Mouth, Taste Changes, Dry Mouth
  • Serves 4
  • Provides 250 calories, 10 grams protein per serving

Zucchini Basil Soup

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  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream (optional)
  • Pepper, to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add zucchini and garlic and cook another 5 minutes, until soft. Then add broth and basil leaves.
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Purée the soup in batches in a blender. Once the entire mixture is blended, mix in Greek yogurt and heavy cream. Finish with pepper to taste.

Nutrition Tips:

  • Zucchini is packed with powerful nutrients like vitamins A and C, which are important for protecting your cells from free radical damage. It is also rich in potassium and magnesium, two electrolytes that are essential for heart, nerve, and muscle function and are often depleted during chemotherapy.
  • If you are losing weight, add some optional ingredients to help boost calories: top with chopped pine nuts ora spoonful of pre-made pesto, or add extra heavy cream, Greek yogurt, or a drizzle of extra olive oil on top (one tablespoon of oil provides 120 calories!).
  • Adding extra herbs such as basil and garlic to soup will help enhance flavor, which may help with taste changes experienced during chemotherapy and radiation.
  • Unflavored protein powder is a great addition to mix into soups. The flavor and consistency of the soup remains the same while increasing the protein, which helps you heal and rebuild muscle during and after treatment.
  • This soup can also be served cold, which is a great option if you have mouth sores.

Recipe provided by MGH Cancer Center Dietitians.