Monday, 10 September 2012

Soup of roasted courgettes with fennel seeds

We love not having to think about lunch and in winter this means we make a large pot of soup to sustain us during the week. But before it's time for the really filling, warming soups I'm making soups that still remind me of summer. Today, I roasted courgettes for a soup. It doesn't take long to put all the ingredients together but it takes a fair amount of time in the oven. The combination of caramelised onion, garlic and celery and fennel makes this soup truly scrumptious.

4 large courgettes
1 large onion
2 whole clove garlic bulbs
2 celery sticks
1 tsp fennel seeds
1.8 l vegetable stock
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
herby tops of three carrots
extra virgin olive oil
2 handfuls of fresh (or frozen) home-made breadcrumbs

1. Wash the courgettes, cut off top and bottom and half lengthways. Place cut side up into a roasting tray.

2. Peel and half the oninion and cut into thickish slices. Peel the garlic cloves and cut into about 4-6 pieces each. Cut the celery into 3 cm long bits. Crush every piece with the ball of your hand. Scatter onion and garlic over and around the courgettes.

3. Season with a little salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Sprinkle the fennel seeds over the top. Drizzle with olive oil and mix everything with your hands.

4. Place into a preheated oven and cook at gas mark 7/220°C until all the vegetabels are lightly browned. Our oven isn't great so I put it up to full whack after about 35 minutes and also turned the courgettes cut side down.

5. When the courgettes are cooked, make the sock either fresh or from powder and add the coarsely chopped leafy parts of the carrot tops.

6. Transfer all the veg into a saucepan, add the breadcrumbs and stock and purée. Check the seasoning and serve or leave to cool and refrigerate in portions ready to pack for lunch.