Courgette Soups

  • I was interested in why British English and American English have different names for a mini marrow.
  • In Italian zucca is the name given to a squash and zucchini is the diminutive.
  • In French courge is the name given to a squash and courgette is the diminutive.
  • So the two words mean the same thing and one can speculate why one is used in Britain and the other in America.
  • In Poland the word used is cukini – so comes from Italian – as do many vegetable names in Polish.
  • Here are two simple but delicious soups, they start off the same and it is in the finishing that they are different.
  • I think version 1 is more the style of soup served in Poland and version 2 more in England.

Ingredients – Version 1

  • 2-3 courgettes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of soured cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped chives or flat-leaved parsley to serve

Method – Version 1

  • Chop the onion into small pieces.
  • Melt the butter and gently fry the onion in it till golden.
  • Chop the courgette into small pieces and add to the onion.
  • Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  • Simmer gently until the courgettes are soft.
  • Stir in the soured cream.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add chopped herbs when serving.

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Meakin Midwinter – Spanish Garden – Soup Dish from the 1960s.

Ingredients – Version 2 – Cream of Courgette 

  • 2-3 courgettes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped chives or flat-leaved parsley to serve

Method – Version 2

  • Chop the onion into small pieces.
  • Melt the butter and gently fry the onion in it till golden.
  • Chop the courgette into small pieces and add to the onion.
  • Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  • Simmer gently until the courgettes are soft.
  • Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Purée the soup – a stick blender is good for this.
  • Bring back to the boil.
  • Stir in the soured cream.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add chopped herbs when serving.
Royal Doulton – Carnation 1982 – 1998