Following on from the ‘kitchen clear out’ of last week and the subsequent push to use up the bits and bobs and to eat from the freezer – supplies are looking rather sparse around here. To be expected, I guess. So, today when I went to the freezer in the hope of finding a tub of something lovely for my ravenous boys’ food flasks for tomorrow, I was out of luck.
Going to the supermarket was not on my mood board for the day, so I decided to dig deep and see what I could create out of the random things in the kitchen. Think of it as our very own game of Ready Steady Cook.
There was still the chicken stock glacier in the freezer and of course there’s always frozen peas nestled in there somewhere too. And with the addition of a few ‘not too long for this world’ courgettes, a potato and the stump of a bunch of parsley from the night before, we had the makings of a delicious soup – Green Pea and Courgette Soup.
This is a quick, no-nonsense soup – but boy, is it tasty? And ridiculously creamy too, especially considering the soup itself contains no dairy.
So here’s why I think you will adore this soup –
- It’s quick, easy and cheap to make.
- It could well be a dish that you can make without needing a trip to the shops.
- It’s perfect for a packed lunch and will reheat like a dream for a food flask the next day.
- It freezes beautifully.
- And here’s the clincher …the reason why I’m certain that this will become a part of your repertoire … When you look at the photos of the finished soup, does it look like an everyday, run of the mill, school day soup? I would say a big NO to that question – and that is ALL about the presentation. ‘Tszuj’ up an everyday dish with a touch of style and you have a perfect dish for entertaining with ease. Here I used some natural yoghurt, a swirl of rose harissa and a few extra frozen peas (run under the hot tap to defrost). If the harissa isn’t for you, you could fry some lardons until crispy and scatter those on top instead.
- How about serving this soup alongside some good bread and an interesting cheese board, the next time you have people round for dinner? With the addition of a simple, prepare-ahead dessert and a glass or two of something lovely, you have an ideal, relaxed menu for easy entertaining.
Who says you have to cook outside of your normal, everyday repertoire when you have guests for dinner? Just ‘up’ the presentation and you can transform some of your everyday, family favourites to be all fancy and worthy of getting out the best china. I won’t tell if you don’t …
- a dash of olive oil
- 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely sliced
- salt and pepper
- 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
- 750ml / 1¼ pints / 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 400g (14oz) courgettes (zucchini), washed and chopped
- 400g (14oz) frozen peas, plus a few extra for garnish
- a small bunch of parsley, stalks included
- juice of ½ lemon
- thick plain yoghurt, to serve
- rose harissa, to serve
- Heat a little oil in a saucepan over a low heat and add the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, until softened.
- Add the potato, stock and courgettes and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, until the potato is cooked.
- Add the peas and parsley and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Blend until smooth - I used a stick blender.
- Add the lemon juice and taste for seasoning.
- To serve, top with a dollop of plain yoghurt, a swirl of rose harissa and a few defrosted peas.