Autumn is definitely here - so my garden was well overdue for a bit of a clean up and final harvest. Last weekend, before the cold nights took hold, I managed to pick the last courgettes before consigning the plants to the compost heap for another year.
This year the courgette plants produced a bumper crop - which probably had something to do with all the compost and feeding the plants got throughout the summer. I could have sworn that the courgettes were growing heaps every time I turned my back! Ended up with a few marrows, but mostly managed to pick them early enough to keep to a manageable size.
This yummy recipe comes from Lou & Ant Bentley at the Akaroa Cooking School, just over the Banks Peninsula hills an hour from my place. It's great for using up the courgette glut and has a lovely herby flavour with the addition of the tarragon and basil at the end of cooking the soup. I make big batches of this soup, and freeze portions when I need something quick & tasty.
Give it a try - you won't be disappointed!
COURGETTE SOUP WITH CASHEWS & HERBS
Recipe by the Akaroa Cooking School
60ml olive oil
1 large red onion - finely diced
2 cloves of garlic - finely diced
1 kg courgette - washed & cut into even slices
500 ml chicken or vegetable stock
½ c unsalted cashews
½ c tarragon leaves - roughly chopped
¼ c basil leaves - roughly chopped
¼ c flat leaf parsley - roughly chopped
Salt and ground pepper to taste
Creme Fraiche - to serve (optional)
Extra herbs - to serve
Extra cashews - to serve - roughly chopped
Heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan over a medium heat, and saute the onions and garlic for 5 mins until soft. Add the courgettes and continue cooking without colouring the vegetables for another 5 mins. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer with the lid on for a further 20 mins or until the vegetables are very soft.
Remove from the heat and add the cashews and herbs. Blend the vegetables until smooth in a blender or using a stick wand. Gently reheat, season well and serve immediately with a dollop of creme fraiche, and some chopped cashews and herbs.
If the soup is very thick thin it down with a llittle water when re heating the soup.
All Images © Deborah Aspray - Motif Lifestyle Images Ltd 2018