My mother-in-law makes a wicked courgette and sherry soup. Sadly, she has been ill this week so my lovely wife asked if I could make her something nice and light: “how about a courgette and sherry soup? She loves the one that she makes”.
Yeah okay, no pressure then. She’s a great cook and now you’re asking me to make something that she makes all the time, with no idea of her recipe.
On with the thinking cap, and I think I nailed it. The secret here is to keep it simple and let the ingredients sing. Boy do they sing. It’s the time of year when the courgettes we grow in the garden are just big enough to eat, so I grabbed a handful of them and let them speak for themselves. They were luscious. I was accused of adding cream to this soup, but no, all of the silky creaminess comes from the courgettes themselves. A delight.
RECIPE – feeds 2
25g butter (or 1 tbsp olive oil, if making it for a vegan)
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
400g courgettes, chopped
1 tbsp dry sherry
500 ml water
1 vegetable stock cube (use a vegan-friendly one if necessary)
extra-virgin olive oil to garnish
small basil leaves to garnish
croutons to garnish (optional)
Melt the butter in a large pan and add the onion and garlic, with the dried basil and oregano. Cover the pan and cook gently for 5 minutes until the onion is softened. Stir in the courgettes, cover the pan and cook gently for a further 10 minutes. Turn the heat up, add the sherry and cook for a minute or so to burn off the alcohol, then add the water and crumble the stock cube into the soup. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, season carefully.
Allow the soup to cool for a few minutes then pour into a blender and blend until smooth. You can also use a stick blender to do this.
To serve, garnish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a few small whole basil leaves, you can also garnish with a few croutons if you like.