I've started a training course for work that means that I don't get home until 9:30pm every Tuesday night, and coupled with inviting friends round for dinner the following night, I thought I best make some preparation towards it lest I keep my guests hanging around for ages waiting for their soupy starter. No one likes waiting for food. So I half heartedly chopped a few courgettes, lobbed in a few bits and bobs and then blitzed it roughly before flopping in front of some guilty pleasure TV.
This resulted in a fresh and vibrant soup - the peas going in raw and barely cooking them makes it so - and from the happy murmurings from my guests, I almost abandoned the main course and served a second helping instead.
Pea & Courgette Soup
Serves 6 as a starter or 3 as a main with bread
3 large courgettes
1 fat or 2 smaller cloves of garlic
500gr petit pois, frozen - this seems a lot but it's a thick, chunky soup
A sprinkle of paprika per bowl
5 big mint leaves
3 basil leaves
100gr manchego, chopped into small chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube (or home-made stock if you have any)
In a large pan heat the oil and add the garlic, stewing slowly while you chop the courgettes into even chunks. Add the courgettes, then the stock cube and water. Simmer for a few minutes until the vegetables are still al dente (this depends really on how large you chopped the courgettes). Take off the heat and add the peas. Leave for 10 minutes. Go for a wee, have a sit down, make a cup of tea, that sort of thing.
Chop the mint and throw in. Blitz roughly (unless you like smooth soups, oddball). When serving, heat gently till just simmering. Taste for salt and pepper. Add evenly the chunks of manchego into each bowl, then add the soup. Serve topped with basil finely minced and a sprinkle of paprika.