The Italians have long been making quick and easy soups. With the fresh ingredients and short cooking times these are not only very nutritious but also possess a wonderful freshness of flavour.
This recipe uses courgettes (unseasonable but still available) but it works equally well with marrow or cucumber. You can apply the same preparation and cooking method as below to many other variations . . . you might just need to cook the soup a little longer for root vegetables like carrots or blanch and refresh leaf vegetables like spinach first.
500 gm courgettes
50 ml olive oil
25 gm flour
1 1/2 ltr chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbs basil - fresh and finely chopped
1 tbs mint - fresh and finely chopped
75 ml cream
How to make:
- Rinse the courgettes,
top and tail if required and cut into small pieces.
- Place in a food
processor and pulse until finely chopped (complete in two or three lots
depending on the size of the processor).
- Lightly heat
the oil in a saucepan, add the courgette and gently cook until lightly softened
but not browned and oil has been absorbed (approximately 2 - 3 minutes).
- Sprinkle in
the flour and stir through. This small amount of flour is to allow the oil
to be absorbed more and lightly thicken the soup, it may be omitted if you
- Add the stock,
bring to the boil and simmer for 5 - 10 minutes.
- Stir in the
basil and mint.
- Stir through
the cream and allow to boil once more.
- Pour into bowls and serve with grated / shaved cheese on top such as cheddar, parmesan, pecorino, etc.
Serves 6 to 8