Some like it hot… like me. Cold soup just gives me the heebie-jeebies. Gazpacho? No thank you. That said, this pretty green soup works well as both a cold starter (I’m not judging) or hot main served with a chunk of freshly-baked bread and butter. You can simply use baby marrows to make it, or add a selection of summer squash – like pattipans and baby gems. Either way, the hint of vanilla enhances the natural sweetness of the veg. And even without the addition of dairy, it’s a surprisingly creamy dish.
- Olive oil
- 1 large leek/ medium-sized onion
- 800g (2 punnets) of baby marrows
- Pattipans (optional)
- Baby gem squash (optional)
- Low-salt chicken stock
- 1 vanilla pod, or vanilla powder
- Chilli flakes
- Salt & Pepper
- Microherbs for garnish
Chop the leek finely. Cover the bottom of a non-stick, heavy duty pot with a thin layer of olive oil. Sauté until soft. Add your preferred combination of chopped-up courgettes and pattipans, and mix.
Add chicken stock – I sprinkle a thin layer on top of the veggie mix so everything is covered in a light dusting of stock powder.
Add water. Bring to the boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until everything is soft.
Remove from the heat. Blend the mixture until smooth.
Scrape a vanilla pod and add into the soup – if you don’t have a pod on hand, a natural vanilla powder (like this one from Vanilla Man) is a good buy.
The soup also works better if you let vanilla seep before you serve it. So put the pot back onto the stove for another 30 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to your liking. Dish and garnish with microherbs and top with a dusting of chilli flakes.