Tuesday, 18 October 2011

lazy roast garlic and courgette soup

i love courgettes but for some reason i always forget that i bought them. they usually make their presence known when i am doing the next round of grocery in the mistaken belief that i have run out of vegetables. this week i made a lazy roast garlic and courgette soup with my 'a little on the tired side' courgettes. 

{lazy courgette and roast garlic soup}

500 grams courgette 
three tablespoons of olive oil and a little extra to drizzle on the garlic
an unpeeled bulb of garlic 
a tablespoon of dried mushrooms
a roasting tin
enough foil to seal the roasting tin

roughly chop the courgettes and toss with the three tablespoons of olive oil and salt. i used flaky sea salt.

cut the top of the bulb of garlic just enough to expose the cloves. then drizzle with a bit of olive oil.

put the courgettes into the roasting tin, place the bulb of garlic in the middle and seal the top with foil. place into the oven at 180 degrees celsius and roast for forty minutes. 

re-hydrate the mushrooms by covering them with hot water.

once the courgettes and garlic are roasted let them cool a bit. squeeze the bulb of  garlic to release the cloves from their skin. they will be a paste like consistency. reserve a tablespoon or so of courgette before blending together the garlic, re-hydrated mushrooms and stock and courgettes.

when you are ready to serve heat the soup in a pan. you can thin the soup with a bit of water if you like. o and i prefer a thicker soup. 

put into bowls add a little of the reserved courgette to each for decoration.

i had intended to serve the soup with a chive creme fraiche. however since i had a big chunk of ricotta cheese perilously close to its use by date i made a lemon chive ricotta instead, which we spread thick on seeded bread and ate along side the soup. if you have the creamy ricotta you will not need to loosen it. i like the crumbly cottage cheese like texture of fresh ricotta but in order to make it spreadable it has to be made creamy with some milk and mayonnaise. at thirty-two we usually eat slices of it shallow fried in a little bit of olive oil and dressed with sumac and sea salt. to make the lemon chive ricotta you will need...

{lemon chive ricotta}

300 grams ricotta
a tablespoon of light mayonnaise
a tablespoon of chopped chives
zest and juice of a lemon
a couple of drops of milk

whizz together all of the ingredients with a hand blender adding the milk only if it is necessary to get a spreadable texture. pile onto toasted seeded bread and eat with the soup. o says that despite not caring much for courgettes he really liked the soup. i personally think that roasted garlic and courgettes are a perfect marriage and it is quite remarkable how far one can go with a tablespoon of dried mushrooms and a couple of tablespoons of dried mushroom stock. to this soup they added depth and meatiness and brought out the smoky notes of garlic even more. what's more, the garlic and mushrooms transform this otherwise summery courgette into something autumnal. i call this recipe a 'lazy roast garlic and courgette soup' precisely because it doesn't need much work. you could if you wanted to swirl some pesto into the soup or even a dill cream.

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