Friday, 16 April 2010

Spring soup: courgette with fresh and dried mint

Today I have been feeling a bit depressed (shhh), so I invented this soup to cheer myself up. It is mild, creamy and comforting: just the ticket for an afternoon of mooning around and moping.

Courgettes are one of those things that really do seem to taste better when they are organic. Not everything does, I will admit, but courgettes: massively so. Cauliflower too, actually. Huge difference.

Courgettes and mint are a marriage made in heaven, but dried mint is a relatively new discovery for me. The Beautiful Egyptian uses it with courgettes in a tomato sauce, which is absolutely divine. In this soup it adds a depth of flavour to the zinginess of the fresh mint, as well as just a *hint* of middle-eastern flavouring.

My secret ingredient in soups is leek. It seems to add an element of deliciousness that is impossible to put your finger on if you don't know it's there.

N.B. Obvious tip that you probably know anyway, but was a revelation to me: if you slice your leeks or courgettes on an angle they don't run away all over the kitchen like demented rodents. It's magic.

Courgette soup with fresh and dried mint

2 medium courgettes, sliced
1 medium leek, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp dried mint
Small handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
Vegetable stock
Cream or soya cream
Olive oil

Fry the leeks in olive oil for a couple of minutes, then add the courgettes, the garlic and the dried mint. Fry for another five minutes or until softened. Add stock to cover, along with the fresh mint. Blend until completely smooth, adding more stock to achieve the desired consistency. Season to taste and stir through a sploosh of cream.

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