This is a beautifully fresh and light soup that’s perfect for summer when courgettes are at their best and are growing in abundance. Freshly picked courgettes are paired with peas, garlic and the wonderfully fragrant basil to make the most vibrant soup, both in colour and flavour.
For this recipe I looked to one of my absolute favourites, Ottolenghi and his excellent book ‘Simple’. It’s full of great inspiration if you’re looking for some quick and easy recipes. This one is so lovely and I’ll be coming back to it regularly for sure. All the flavours mingle together so well…Ottolenghi has nailed it once again! It’s way healthier than a shop-bought soup too, you’d be staggered at how much salt they’re packed with!
It might seem strange going for soup in summer, but it’s so light and refreshing that it really works. I’ve also been trying it out chilled and it’s absolutely delicious! If you fancy making it a touch more substantial, try stirring through some cooked puy lentils, they go really well and are a great source of protein if you’re veggie. If you prefer a vegan twist, simply leave out the feta, it’ll still taste great!
Ingredients 60ml oil 1 bulb of garlic, cloves separated and peeled 1.3kg courgettes, chopped into 3cm slices (any flowers reserved) 1 litre veg stock (1) 500g frozen peas 50g basil (reserve a few small ones) 200g feta Zest of one lemon
- Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add the garlic cloves and stir frequently for 2 or 3 minutes until golden. Add the courgettes and season really well. Fry for 3 or 4 minutes until starting to colour. Pour in the stock and 250ml of water, then bring to boil. Cook for about 7 minutes, until soft and very vibrant.
- Add the peas and cook for 1 minute. Add basil, then remove from heat and blitz in processor or with a stick blender until really smooth and colourful.
- Ladle into bowls, top with crumbled feta, reserved basil leaves and lemon zest. If you have any courgette flowers, slice them and sprinkle on top too. Finish with a good grind of pepper.
(1) Choose your stock carefully, some are absolutely loaded with salt! Opt for one with lower salt so you can control the seasoning yourself.