Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hulk Soup

I trashed The Incredible Hulk lately, but I thought of him today as I was perusing the meagre selection of my fridge and some truly gigantic courgettes appeared out of the bottom drawer. Sometimes I do not need or want a thick soup (or a soup that you can dye wool in, as one of my readers rightly said), and so I opted for something relatively clear and green. Whip out your own thicko courgettes and get boiling.

5 large courgettes
2 liters of vegetable stock
one bouquet garni
sea salt
4 small onions (whole) or 1 onion (chopped)
2 tbps of tomato purée (if you must)
oregano to serve

Chop the courgettes in reasonably large pieces. The idea is to produce a herby, clear soup whose only consistency is given by the courgettes themselves. These will have to boil long enough to be edible, but not so long as to disintegrate and disappear. We don't want mushy courgette soup here. Peel the onions and drop whole in the hot stock, together with the chopped courgettes, one bouquet garni and sea salt to taste.

You can find ready-made bouquets garnis in supermarkets, but if you are making your own (I salute you), you need to use marjoram, parsley, thyme, rosemary and a bay leaf or two. String all of this together or, better still, use some gauge. Place it in the pan and remember to remove, lest someone will find it floating in the bowl... Do not skip this; it is the herbs that give this soup its reason for being. If, like me, you like to see a bit of red, add two tablespoons of tomato purée. However, this is absolutely not necessary. Personally, I prefer this soup to stay clear and green and not go cloudy as it does as you start to add tomatoes or anything else that isn't green (as you can see above).

Boil rapidly for 10 minutes and then lower to medium and continue boiling for an extra 15 minutes or so, long enough to tenderise the courgettes. Add some sprinkled oregano upon serving, as well as tofu croutons. Why tofu croutons? Because they are the only croutons that do not go soggy. Tune in soon for how to make them.
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