Courgette challenge: Making a soup from this prolific veg
The sun has been working over time here in Somerset, much to the delight of allotment holders across the UK.
One of the easiest veg to grow, it seemed that this year’s harvest is particularly plentiful. A few large specimens would be carefully cut from the stem while seemingly leaving behind only the smallest of sprouts. Yet in just a few days’ time, those little finger-sized spears would triple or even quadruple in size!
It’s great to feel like the allotment is a success. The only challenge lies in what to do with all the courgettes.
Unlike many other veg, they don’t hold-up as well when frozen. Many of us took to swapping recipes, in an effort to find new and interesting ways to enjoy our stripey green produce.
Here are a few recipes, which we hope you will enjoy. They’ve all been tried and tested here in Frome.
Italian-Style Courgette & Cheese soup
(Adapted from: BBC Food)
This recipe is great for the courgettes that have grown a little too big. Over-sized veg can be watery, so aren’t great for many courgette recipes. But in a soup, their size works to their advantage!
– 2 tbsp cooking oil: I used Rapeseed, but any cooking oil will do
– 1 tbsp chopped garlic (or 1/2 tsp dried)
– leafy herbs: I used lemon thyme, but basil or marjoram works too
– sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
– 1kg green courgettes, cut lengthways into quarters then into 1cm/½in slices
– 750ml/1¼ pint chicken or vegetable stock
– 60ml/2fl oz single cream
– handful flatleaf parsley (1 tsp dried)
– 50g freshly grated parmesan, pecorino or manchego cheese
To serve (optional)
crusty bread OR green salad
salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat.
- Cook the garlic, leafy herbs, salt and courgette slowly for 10 minutes, or until the courgettes are lightly browned and softened.
- Add pepper, to taste, then pour in the stock and simmer for 8 minutes, uncovered. Remove from the heat.
- Put three-quarters of the soup mixture into a food processor/blender (I used a stick/hand blender) and blend until smooth.
- Return the mixture to the pan and stir in the cream, parsley and cheese.
- To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle over more cheese, to taste. Serve with crusty bread or a green salad.