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Chilled Zucchini Soup

['1/4 lb shallots, thinly sliced crosswise (1 cup)', '2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil', '1 1/2 lb zucchini (3 to 4 medium), peeled and halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices', '2 (2- by 1 1/2-inch) strips fresh lemon zest', '1 teaspoon salt', '1/4 teaspoon black pepper', '1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)', '1 3/4 cups water', '1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves', '1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill', '1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk or plain yogurt', 'Garnish: thinly sliced or torn zucchini blossoms']

Cook shallots in oil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add zucchini, zest, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is softened, about 5 minutes. Add broth and water and simmer until zucchini is tender, about 3 minutes.
Purée zucchini mixture, including zest, along with parsley and dill in a blender (in 2 batches if necessary) until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Transfer to a metal bowl, then set bowl into a larger bowl of ice and cold water (to quick-chill). Cool, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
Stir in buttermilk and season with salt.

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