This year I have planted both pretty pale green Genovese courgettes and the regular darker green Roman ones. The extreme heat of early summer seems to have held the mildew which usual assails my plants in check… so far. There’s no shortage of either variety. I tend to pick them when they’re no longer than 10cm – they’re so much more flavoursome that way.
Quick and simple to make, and very versatile, this fresh-tasting soup is perfect served chilled on a warm summer evening… and it’s a great way to use up some of your over-abundance of courgettes, or the ones which lurk behind leaves, swelling to larger-than-desired size before you get around to picking them.
Courgettes (zucchini) – 4 medium
Onion – 1 large
Potato – 1 large
Granny Smith apple – 1
Cumin – 2 tsp
Garum masala – 1 tsp
Garlic – 1 large clove
Vegetable stock or stock cube
Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in the bottom of a large saucepan, and gently fry the cumin and garum masala for a minute or two. Add the chopped onion and garlic and continue frying until the onion is transparent but not brown.
Peel the potato and the apple (granny smith will give your soup a sharp, crisp taste), and chop them and the courgettes into smallish cubes. Toss all these ingredients with the onion and spices for a few minutes. Now cover them with vegetable stock, or water plus a vegetable stock cube. The liquid should come to a couple of centimetres above the vegetables.
Part-cover your saucepan and leave it bubbling gently over a low-to-medium heat until the vegetables and apple are soft, then use a stick blender to blitz everything into a smooth cream. You may need to add a little more liquid, but this soup is best if it’s good and thick.
You can serve it like this, piping hot, maybe with a thin drizzle of olive oil on top. Or you can leave it to cool down, then chill it well in the fridge before serving. If you opt for cold soup, a dollop of Greek yogurt in the middle goes very well, especially with a dash of powdered cumin over the top.
© Anne Hanley, 2012