tomato courgette soup

tomato and courgette soup

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. 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.

Ingredients (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

To make:

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 (see my video) 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

tomato soup dice

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!

5. Slice the garlic and add to the courgettes and peppers and cook for another minute or two until the vegetables are golden and softening but not too squishy

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 (vinegar) and salt to taste.


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