NEIL'S RECIPES: COURGETTE, BASIL AND MINT SOUP WITH OVEN-DRIED TOMATO AND ANSTER CHEESE

by Cafe St Honoré in


"This is a great way to use up these wonderful vegetables when you have a glut. The recipe is so easy and it keeps well - it’s great served chilled in small amounts on a very hot summer’s day. The extra-virgin olive oil really works here. And do use the courgette flowers as a garnish." 

 Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes; Cooking time: tomatoes up to 2 hours, soup 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 large courgettes, diced into rough 1-inch cubes
1 banana shallot, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small handful of basil and mint leaves, roughly chopped
100g grated Anster cheese, or any other hard, crumbly cheese
2 tomatoes
100ml extra-virgin olive oil
Good salt and pepper
A few edible flowers like cornflower blue or calendula to garnish

METHOD

Heat the oven to 150°C / Gas Mark 2

Remove the eyes from the tomatoes and give them a good wash. Cut them in half and lay them on an ovenproof tray. Sprinkle with good salt and pepper and trickle over some extra-virgin olive oil. Place in the oven for between 1 and 2 hours. Remove and keep in a tub in the fridge if you wish.

Heat 50ml of the oil in a pot and sweat the shallot and the garlic until soft, then add the courgette and season with good salt and pepper. Stir and add enough boiling water to cover and a bit more.

Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until soft - don’t let it dry out – then add the herbs and blitz with a hand-blender.

Add 3/4 of the cheese and blitz again - it doesn’t need to be super-smooth. Check the seasoning. 

To serve, pour the soup into warmed bowls and add the tomatoes and the extra cheese. Garnish with some edible flowers and an extra trickle of olive oil. Serve with some good bread.