Body : Roasted Courgette Soup
If you grow your own vegetables you'll almost inevitably have a glut of courgettes to contend with at some point! Having fallen once again into the trap of planting out too many seedlings because I can't bear to chuck my babies away, I'm really trying to keep on top of picking them before they get too big this year.
With today's harvest I thought I'd try this recipe from www.thevegspace.co.uk. It's a little more complicated than my usual 'cut-it-up-and-chuck-it-in-the-pot' soups but it's worth it for the extra rich flavour you get from roasting the courgettes and leeks/onions and adding peas and fresh basil. Give it a go - I hope you enjoy it.
Here's the list of ingredients:
950g courgettes (about 3 large ones)
1 leek or you can use an onion instead
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoon olive or rapeseed oil
750ml vegetable stock (I recommend Marigold Vegetable Bouillon)
200g frozen peas
75g vegan parmesan
20g fresh basil
4 tablespoons dairy-free milk
For the croutons:
1 ciabatta roll (or I used a slice of sourdough bread)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon pine nuts
And here's how to make it:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan) / 350ºF / Gas Mark 4.
Trim the ends off the courgettes and slice them into chunks about 1cm thick. Place on a baking tray/roasting tin.
Trim the ends off the leek and slice into rounds of a similar size (or if you're using an onion instead of a leek, cut into chunks). Place on the baking tray along with the garlic cloves (still in their skin), then drizzle everything in the olive or rapeseed oil, season with salt and black pepper, and toss everything together until fully coated in the oil.
Roast the veg for 40-45 minutes, turning occasionally, until soft and golden brown (but not too charred).
Meanwhile, make up the vegetable stock with boiling water in a heatproof jug, then tip in the frozen peas and set aside to let them thaw.
When cool enough to handle, squeeze the flesh out of the roasted garlic cloves and discard the skins.
Tip the roasted vegetables into a saucepan, along with the stock and peas, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the peas are just cooked through.
Add most of the dairy-free parmesan and basil (keep a little of both back for garnish), and the dairy-free milk or cream. Use a hand blender to blitz to a smooth purée (or tip into a blender or food processor) then taste and add salt and black pepper as required.
To make the croutons, cut the ciabatta or sourdough into cubes, toss in the olive oil and bake in the oven for 5 minutes until crispy. Add the pine nuts and cook for a further minute until just starting to brown.
Serve the soup with a sprinkle of basil and dairy-free parmesan, topped with the croutons and pine nuts, and with a swirl of dairy-free cream.