Given my obvious love of tomatoes, I get positively delirious at this time of year when they are piling up all around me and at their absolute best. We just got back from a two week holiday to find our garden overflowing with perfectly ripe tomatoes and courgettes (zucchini). Very handy as I came back from holiday feeling in need of a major injection of fruit and veg.
My boys still aren’t crazy about courgettes but I remembered a recipe my Mum used to make when she was overrun with them so I rustled it up at lunchtime and it went down a treat.
I love that courgettes add a real creaminess to soups when blended. Great if you’re trying to cut down on adding cream to things or if you are vegan. I admit I don’t really like cream in soups, I find it dulls down the flavours too much and if I’m going to eat cream, I’d rather eat it with a nice slice of pie thank you very much.
This is a really easy way to wade your way through a glut of summer veggies. It freezes really well too so I’ll be stowing some away ready for a day when the season is over and I want a taste of summer to brighten my day.
My kids are still pretty messy at eating soup so I tend to toast a thick slice of country bread and chop it into large croutons then throw it into their bowl and let it sit in the soup for a few minutes to thicken it. The way the Italians do with their soups.
It is also lovely served with a piece of toasted bread that has been gently rubbed with garlic and drizzled in good olive oil. A grating of Parmesan would be yummy too.
This soup would also work beautifully as a sauce for pasta or with some white beans mixed through.
To make enough for 4 adults
Half a tablespoon olive oil
2-3 large tomatoes, chopped with the skin left on and seeds still in (around 2 cups when chopped)
2-3 courgettes (zucchini)
3 cloves garlic
2 red bell peppers
a large handful of basil leaves (the more the merrier)
1 teaspoon or so red wine vinegar
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1. Set a large pan on a low heat (I use my Le Creuset) and add the olive oil
2. Chop the red pepper into a rough but small dice then add to the pan along with a generous pinch of salt
3. Dice the courgette and add to the pepper, stir well and cook over a medium heat for around 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes
4. While the vegetables cook, chop the tomatoes and use your hands to squish them into a smoothish sauce. I like to use the biggest tomatoes I have as there is a better skin to flesh ratio. Smaller tomatoes will work too but there will be more skin. Not really an issue as we’re blending but I still prefer a big tomato!
6. Add the tomatoes to the pan, stir and cover with a lid then simmer for 10 minutes
7. Throw the basil, a good grind of black pepper and red wine vinegar into the pan then blend with either an immersion blender or in a regular blender. Taste and adjust the acid and salt to taste.