Courgette and Basil Soup with Parmesan Croutons
Although courgettes have a delicate flavour they work well when partnered with gutsy flavours as in this soup
- 50g (2oz) butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 225 (8oz) potato, approx 1 large, peeled and chopped
- 1.5 litres (2 ¾ pt) chicken or vegetable stock
- 900g (2lb) courgettes, chopped
- 2 tbsp basil, freshly chopped
- 75g (3oz) sourdough or ciabatta bread cut into small cubes
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1½ tbsp parmesan, finely grated
This soup is equally delicious made with fresh mint. Try using small courgettes for the best flavour. You can replace the parmesan croutons with a few cooked, peeled prawns if desired.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and potato and cook for 10 minutes without colouring the vegetables. Add the stock, bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes until the potato is soft. Add the courgettes, season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes until the courgettes are just soft. Cool the soup slightly, add the basil, then liquidise in batches until smooth.
To make the parmesan croutons, heat the oven to 190C, 170C fan, 375F, gas 5, Place the bread in a bowl, pour over the oil and toss well so that all the bread gets well coated. Add the parmesan, stir well then spread the croutons out onto a baking sheet in a single layer and cook for 10 minutes or until crisp and brown.
To serve, reheat the soup, adjust the seasoning and serve in warm bowls with the croutons sprinkled on top.