Saturday, 10 May 2008

Courgette, leek and cauliflower soup with Manchego

We were out last night so the veg box experiment resumed this morning. I discovered that one of the courgettes was already going mouldy at the end (not good) so thought I'd better use a couple of them up along with the rest of the cauliflower. This was the result. The Manchego - another fridge leftover - was a last minute addition because the soup tasted a bit bland. Rather good though.

Serves 4
3 tbsp olive oil
2 medium leeks, trimmed, washed and finely sliced
2 medium courgettes, trimmed and sliced
1/2 a cauliflower cut into florets (cooked or uncooked) or a small potato, peeled and finely sliced
2 sprigs of mint
600-700ml vegetable stock made with 2 rounded tsp vegetable bouillon powder or an organic vegetable stock cube
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 heaped tbsp chopped fresh parsley
About 20g grated Manchego, Pecorino or other hard sheeps' cheese* + extra for serving
Olive oil for drizzling - optional

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the leeks, courgettes and potato (if you're using that rather than the cauliflower), stir, cover the pan and cook over a low heat until the veg start to soften. Add the cauliflower if using, a couple of springs of mint and 600ml of the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer until the vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes) then rest off the heat for 5 minutes. Remove the mint and pass the soup through a food processor or blender or whizz up with a hand-held blender. Reheat and check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste and a little more stock if it's too thick. Stir in the parsley and grated Manchego and recheck the seasoning. Serve in warm bowls with extra Manchego grated on top and/or a drizzle of olive oil.

I have to say this is not the prettiest soup I've ever made but it's quite tasty. Any leftovers can be frozen.

* or parmesan or even good old cheddar. Just don't make it too cheesy and gloopy.

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