Courgette (zucchini) soup

Courgette/Zucchini Soup

The British are famously a nation of gardeners. Where else do you have a reality show on TV pitting amateur gardeners against each other?! Or, rather, allotment-holders. Allotments are small parcels of land rented out by the local government to those with the itch to garden but without one. This is apparently a competitive business with demand far exceeding supply. I learned all this from my friend Man-Yee who started an allotment this past year and, after months of toiling, has been rewarded by an abundance of fresh veg and fruit. Or, as she put it, by drowning in a sea of courgettes (zucchini, as they’re known on the other side of the Pond)!

Having once signed up to a CSA share, I know her predicament well. How to use up all that lovely veg before it goes bad and the next unrelenting wave comes?! If you’re in a similar boat, then to help bail you out of your ‘veg problem’ here’s a simple solution: soup. Chilled or hot. It doesn’t get any simpler: fry some garlic, onions/leeks and veg in olive oil and (optionally) butter. Add stock. Cook. Blitz. This is my MO with everything from celery root to cauliflower (with a pinch of curry powder/garam masala). But it never occurred to me to use zucchini/courgette until I came across the obvious, but genius, idea in a recent issue of Food & Wine Magazine. The genius in question is Grant Achatz, the chef at the legendary Chicago restaurant, Alinea. I’ve had it both chilled and piping hot. Either way, its delicious.


Courgette (zucchini) soup

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 2 medium courgettes (about 400 g), sliced crosswise into ¼" disks
  • 1 small onion, diced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ¾ cup water
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • julienned raw courgette for garnish.


  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and fry until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Stir in the courgettes along with a large pinch of salt and a few turns of black pepper. Fry for another 5-6 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the water and stock. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, covered, until the veg is tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Cool slightly and transfer to a blender. Blitz until you have a smooth texture.
  5. Rinse out the pot and transfer the soup back in. Bring back to a boil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve hot or chilled, garnished with the raw julienned courgette.

Grant Achatz (Food & Wine Magazine)

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