A Soup of Baby Courgettes, Peppers, Carrots, and Peas…
Makes roughly 3 litres.
400g baby courgettes, trimmed, wiped, and chopped
1 medium-sized yellow bell pepper, ditto and de-seeded
400g frozen peas
2 or 3 medium onions, peeled and chopped
1 large-ish Echalion shallot
3 med carrots, ditto
¼ teaspoon celery salt
2 Kallo Organic veg stock cubes
Marigold stock powder, to taste (which turned out to be 1.5 teaspoons
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 or 2 garlic cloves, peeled, softened and mashed into the soup (optional)
Small handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
A small pinch of dried mint – and I stress small – if liked, with a little vinegar, too, perks it up nicely. Too much and you’ll have pea-flavoured mint soup!
Gently sweat off the onions, carrots, and shallot in the butter until the onions are soft but not coloured (using both shallots and onions will give a greater depth of flavour), add everything up to and including the Kallo cubes, cover with boiling water, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until the carrots are soft.
Blitz in portions then push through a medium sieve. Discard the debris and stir in Marigold powder to taste (see above), adding hot water to bring up to about 3 litres, or to your preferred consistency. Also add the parsley, and mint if using, at this point.
The yellow pepper adds a fruity note and a touch of sweetness, without affecting the colour. A red pepper would give much the same flavour but with an undesirable rusty colour, and I’ve never seen the point of green peppers, which are simply unripe.
As the veg will be blitzed in a blender/food processor, and pushed through a sieve (essential, as pea skins can leave lots of straw-like shards), there’s no need to chop too finely. Do cook the carrots, cut smaller, for longer than the other veg, though. Don’t peel the courgettes – you’ll lose the colour.
And as with the pea soup a couple of weeks ago, cooking frozen peas in quantity takes longer than you’d expect (much longer than just cooking up a portion or two for a meal).
Prep can be easy so I’m inclined to give it one spoon for the basics. Unless you can find a volunteer to push it through a sieve after blitzing, then I’m afraid it takes it up to three spoons. Maybe even four depending on how painful you find it. I suspect that a food processor will give a smoother finish than a blender, though and I’ve ordered a small one.