Zucchini Bisque

6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 3 or 4 pieces
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1-1/2 lbs. zucchini, ends trimmed, and cut into chunks
2 heaping Tablespoons white basmati rice or long-grain white rice
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup half-and-half (organic is the best!)
Croutons (optional) for serving

1. In a medium round or oval slow cooker put the butter, onion, curry powder, and zucchini, cover, and cook on HIGH to sweat the vegetables for 30 minutes.
2. Add the rice, basil, and broth, cover, and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours.
3. Purée with a handheld immersion blender or transfer to a food processor or blender and purée in batches. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the half-and-half, cover, and continue to cook on LOW until heated through, 20 minutes; do not boil.
To serve, ladle the hot soup into bowls and garnish with croutons, if desired.
Serves 4.