Tag Archives: Marrow

Courgette Soup with Parsley & Parmesan

There’s certainly still plenty of courgettes and marrows to be getting through at Chez Foti and I’ve now turned to soup making to attempt a dent on the mountain. Without blowing my own trumpet, or courgette, this is the nicest courgette soup I’ve ever tasted. I’ve been making it with both courgettes and marrows or a mixture of the two, and all are equally as successful so just use whatever you have a surplus off. It’s a great recipe for gluts. And if you don’t have a glut, just go halves on the quantities and make a smaller amount.

It’s probably not entirely soup weather yet at Chez Foti, but there’s a definite Autumnal crispness in the air early mornings and evenings, which is pretty welcome after all the heat of July and August. And besides I’m trying to loose a stone by christmas (a ridiculously tall order me thinks but I’m going to give it a whirl anyways) so soups are most definitely on the menu for me these days. Barely a day’s gone by since returning from our jolidays last weekend that I haven’t been busily rustling up some sort of soup or other. And the kids always love them, whatever the weather. By including a fair whack of creme fraiche (albeit I do use a half fat version) and Parmesan (or Grana Padano it’s cheaper cousin) this admittedly is a considerably more indulgent soup than my usual, but is oh so good and worth it. Though if you’re serious about dropping calories it’s still very good without any dairy additions.

I’m entering my recipe to Karen at Lavendar and Lovage’s September Herbs on Saturday blog challenge. I’m feeling rather lucky after I won the August competition with my Glut of Tomatoes Pasta Sauces recipes. My first ever bloggie win!.

Courgette Soup with Parsley & Parmesan

To make 8 servings:

3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 onions, diced

6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 kilos of courgettes or marrows, diced

a litre of chicken or veggie stock

a heaped teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper

25g of flat leaved parsley leaves and stalks, roughly chopped

2 heaped tablespoons of creme fraiche, half or full fat

75g of Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese, finely grated

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stockpot on a medium heat. Throw in the onions and cook for 10 minutes, stirring at intervals. Add the garlic and cook for a moment or two more before tipping in the diced courgettes or marrows.  Cover and allow to sweat for a further 10 minutes, stirring every now and again.

Pour in the stock, bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 15 minutes until all the veggies are perfectly tender and soft. Once cooked stir in the parsley and take off the heat.

Thoroughly whiz with a stick blender or in a liquidiser or processor; I personally prefer the former as there’s less washing up. Stir in the creme fraiche and Parmesan or Grana Padano. Et voila. Final taste check and you’re done. There shouldn’t be any need to add further salt as there’s plenty in the stock. This makes a pretty thick soup (which I happen to prefer) but can be thinned down to your desired consistency with more stock, milk or water.

How about trying some of my other soupy recipes? Cream of Veggie Super Soup, Pumpkin & Bacon Soup, Butternut Squash & Chorizo Soup with Chorizo Croutons or Caldo Verde (Portuguese Greens Soup)


July Veg of the Month: The Courgette

It comes as no surprise that this month’s Chez Foti ‘Veg of the Month’ is the far from humble Courgette. Since my first picking of one on the 21st of June we’ve chomped our way through a considerable number (I’d love to know how many) and in quite an array of meals…and cakes! Barely a meal’s gone by without some sort of courgettie addition or side. It’s a good job I love them so much, which is more than can be said for my husband (his loving or rather non-loving of courgettes I meant). Though I should point out that considering he isn’t exactly their number one fan he’s been exceptionally tolerant of the whole Courgette Situation.

As I said in earlier blogs I didn’t intend to have NINE plants, I was aiming at four, but there was some sort of mix up in the seed planting. Luckily we’ve had people staying most of the last month who’ve helped in the Courgette Cause and I’ve also managed to palm quite a few off on any unsuspecting dropper-byers. So we’re almost on top of the situation, at least for now.

Courgettes are a virgin veggie growers dream. Easy to germinate,  quick-growing (though maybe not this year in the waterlogged UK), free from most diseases and pests and extremely fruitful. Give them a go, you won’t be disappointed.

Courgettes are so incredibly versatile in the kitchen and a wonder veg to cook with. And this last month I’ve certainly challenged their versatility to the max in the Chez Foti kitchen. They’ve been liberally adding to many a gorgeously fragrant Thai Green Curry (they really do work amazingly well in all curries), Ratatouile (recipe soon!), Risottos, Paella, various Omelettes and Tortillas, each and every Stir Fry I’ve made, an assortment of pasta dishes including Courgette & Sausage Carbonara (and also with bacon), my Garden Pasta (recipe coming shortly) and Courgette & Pesto Pasta.

Spinach, Courgette & Pesto Risotto

The 3 Cs, Chicken, Courgette & Chard Thai Green Curry

Courgettes have also featured in all our Barbecues (and we’ve been having quite a few this month), they’ve been dipped in lemon, olive oil, sea salt & pepper and barbecued (or on the stove in a griddle pan) in strips as a veggie side or served like this on Bruschetta with Feta & Basil. They’ve been kebabed with other veggies marinated in olive oil and thyme, lemon thyme, oregano or rosemary and made into Veggie Kebabs or Greek Stylie Pork Kebabs.

Veggie Kebabs, marinaded in olive oil, a little lemon & Lemon Thyme

Courgette, Feta & Basil Bruschetta

The neglected ones have been successfully utilised in my 70s Throwback Stuffed Marrow and when we got really bored of eating them they were amazing in Nigella’s Courgette Cake with Homemade Lemon Curd and Lemon Frosting. The kids have loved them in Mamacook’s Courgette & Feta Bites (actually so’ve we, three batches made so far!) which are great for lunches, picnics or afternoon snacks. They’ve even been enjoyed raw in Bangers & Mash Chat’s Courgette & Oregano Flower Salad (quite the prettiest salad I’ve ever eaten) and in HFW’s Curried Courgette Salad (actually I ate this at a friend’s house and I must get the exact recipe).

Mamacook’s Courgette & Feta Bites

Bangers & Mash Chat’s Courgette & Oregano Flower Salad, though hers was considerably prettier than mine!

With so many guests staying this month I actually haven’t got around to trying half as many recipes that I wanted to so here’s a few more ideas that I’m hoping to make before the courgette season’s out. Firstly there’s It’s Well Seasoned’s Lemon Courgette & Minted Feta Salad which I’ve been meaning to make for weeks, Kitchen Ninja’s Courgette Bread (actually Zucchini Bread, it’s American) that sounds divine, Riverford’s Chocolate Courgette Cake (from my Riverford Farm Cookbook), a Feta & Courgette Filo Pie that my mum’s been making for years from Bill Sewell’s From the Place Below book, Fried Courgette Flowers (in the two years since taking up gardening people have ALL asked me if I’ve tried making them, I MUST MUST do it!). Last but most certainly not least I’m seriously considering making Marrow Rum, though as it takes a year in the making could be a serious test of my normally-lacking patience!

So that’s it for this month’s round up, but I’d love to hear your favourite courgette recipes, ideas and uses. I’m certain we’ll be having plenty more courgettes yet this summer and I’m always game to find new and exciting ways of using them!. Whether I’ll still be married by the end of the summer is however not so certain 😉

My August Veg of the Month is to be the Tomato. With 58 plants (cherries, beef and plums) all fruiting I’ll be needing your help in Project Tomato!. Please share with me your recipes and I’ll gladly try to make them over the course of the month.

Thanking you kindly for all the courgettie inspiration!


June Veg of the Month: Swiss Chard

I thought I’d end on a sweet note with this extroadinarily moist Courgette Cake

70s Flashback Stuffed Marrow

‘Tis another courgettie recipe today I’m afraid, though this time of the overgrown kind. One somehow went unnoticed and I found myself happening upon a marrow last week. Loving a bit of 70s foodie nostalgia I thought I’d give stuffing it a go. Interestingly it was way tastier than my less-than-fond childhood memories of waterlogged flavour-lacking marrow dinners. This was a meal I would gladly leave future courgettes to grow into gargantuan proportions for, and indeed I am.

It’s also a very simple to put together dish, made in minutes, albeit taking upwards of an hour to bake in the oven.

I’m entering this blog into Lavender & Lovage’s July Herbs on Saturday Challenge, this month hosted by Vanesther at Bangers & Mash Chat.

My homegrown sage

For 2 to 3 big people or a family of four:

a 750 to 1000g marrow or overgrown courgette

2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus a little extra for brushing

a small onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

a heaped desertspoon of chopped fresh sage leaves

a small eating apple, skin peeled and core removed, grated

300g of pork mince

salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4.

Slice the marrow or courgette in half lengthways, scoop out all the loose flesh and seeds from the middles to make two boats. Cut up any fleshy parts and set aside, discard the seeds (I actually kept mine to sow next year). Brush the two halves with a little olive oil and place snugly in an appropriately sized ovenproof dish.

Heat the olive oil in a deep side frying pan on a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes until a little softened. Stir in the chopped garlic and sage and cook for a minute longer. Stir in the grated apple quickly followed by the pork mince, set aside diced courgette flesh and a generous pinch or two of salt and pepper. Give everything a thorough stir and take off the heat.

Spoon all the filling into the marrow halves. Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of the marrow). Remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Great served with a simple green salad and plenty of good quality bread to mop up the lovely juices.

Here’s some other courgettie recipes you might like to try, Courgette & Sausage Carbonara, Courgette, Spinach & Pesto Risotto, King Prawn, Courgette & Spinach Thai Green Curry, Courgette, Feta & Basil Bruschetta.

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