Sunday, January 25, 2009

Courgette, Cumin and Chick pea soup


Mid summer and the courgettes
are growing like magic beans. I like courgettes but they are very plain and I tend to mix them with other flavours - roast tomatoes, onions, and brie all go well but one of my especial favourites is cumin. And if I am going down the middle eastern or indian flavour route then chick peas are a great choice because cumin also goes with most types of beans as well. I am using the chick peas here for that floury texture they have so they go in early and get cooked through and blended with the rest of the soup.


The courgette I had was quite large so the quantities here are larger - a pint and a half of stock, instead of my usual pint and a quarter.

- Begin by warming some olive oil and a half inch slice of butter in a saucepan.
- Add in an onion peeled and sliced and three or four garlic cloves peeled and crushed.
- Chop up the courgette and open a tin of chick peas and rinse them under cold water (in a seive under the tap)
- Cook until soft and translucent the add in a dessertspoonfull of ground cumin seeds and the roughly chopped courgette and half the chick peas.
- Stir about to mix, turn up the heat and continue to cook until the liquid released by the courgette has pretty well evaporated.
- Add in a chopped tomato (skin and all) and a pint and a half of half strength vegetable stock from powder.
- Let it come to the boil the turn the heat back down and gently cook until the courgette is softish.
- Let the soup cool for a few minutes the blend smooth.
- Return to the now clean pan, reheat and add salt or pepper if you think it needs it. Mine didn't but it all depends on your stock.

A handfull of coriander leaves would have been good with the soup but I didn't have any so I sprinkled on some fennel seeds that had been gently toasted in a dry frying pan until just brown. They added a nice crunchyness and went well with the lemony tang of the cumin.


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