Spicy Courgette Soup with Trimmings

It is fair to say that after 14years in London I still can’t get use to English summers. Yesterday was sunblock weather and today I woke up to grey and rainy skies. The kitchen is in a bit of a mess as I am desperately trying to clear out the kitchen cupboards before our trip through Europe. A fellow chef Clare Heal (who is a very clever cook and writer http://www.clare-cooks.com) suggested using Olio to recycle unused food items – and what a revelation! OLIO is a free app that connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. And boy did I share! Thank you to all that came to collect everything from oils, pulses, nuts and even excess homemade Marmalade.

Anyway back to lunch, it was in this clearing out frenzy that I needed something fast, mobile (eating and packing away) and comforting (a must in grey weather). I am still thinking of 101 ways to utilise my father-in-laws garden courgettes and here is another way. I added a bit of crispy beetroot for crunch and colour and I so happen to have some Paneer in the fridge which was meant for a Saag Paneer which never materialised. I used my trusty Thermomix for this recipe but this soup is easily made without.

While at Leiths we had wonderful guest chefs come to cook for us and what a privilege to sample their food. One such lady was the very dynamic Angela Malik (yes chef : ) ) who instilled in me the importance of cooking the onions – long, long, long and slow, slow, slow till they caramelise and become a soft and fragrant mush. If you have the patients to do this it will be worth it.


  • 2 small onions finely chopped
  • 2 small garlic cloves finely chopped or minced
  • 10cm ginger grated (go easy on the ginger if you are not a fan – clearly I am)
  • 2 large courgettes cut into chunky bits
  • pinch of hot curry powder
  • 1tspn of milk curry powder
  • 350-450ml of chicken stock – preferably homemade (recipe to follow)
  • neutral oil for frying – I used Groundnut
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

To Garnish

  • 50g of Paneer cut into little cubes – feta would also work
  • 1 small beetroot very finely sliced (I use a mandolin)
  • few sprigs watercress
  • few sprigs coriander


  1. Soften the onions in a little bit of oil (not olive) on a low to medium heat till onions are very soft and start to slightly change colour
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and stir till fragrant making sure the heat is lowish so the garlic does not burn
  3. Add the courgette and cook for about 5-8minutes till soft but not broken up
  4. Add both the curry powders and stir till fragrant
  5. Add the HOT chicken stock. Do not add all the stock depending on how chunky or broth’y’ you would like the soup, I went for chunky and only added the 350g
  6. Bring up to a simmer for 5-8minutes.
  7. Pulse the soup either in a food processor to the desired consistency or use a hand held blender.
  8. Season to taste
  9. Keep warm
  10. For the garnish fill a small saucepan 1/3 with oil. Heat the oil till a piece of bread sizzles when dropped in. Add the slices of beetroot taking care not to overfill and turn the slices after 1-2minutes. Remove the beetroot with a slotted spoon once crispy (the slices will crisp up once on taken out) lightly season with salt. Continue till all the slices are fried and drain on a some kitchen towel. (see note)
  11. While the oil is still warm (not too hot) add the pieces of Paneer taking care as it WILL SPIT – once caramelise (slightly) immediately remove with a slotted spoon draining the pieces on some kitchen towel.

Serve the soup warm and add the garnishes including the greens

Kitchen Notes:

  1. When frying the Beetroot take care not to make the oil to hot. The beetroot will brown very quickly. Rather heat the oil on a medium heat taking a bit longer.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Clare says:

    Sounds delicious Adré! And thanks for the shout out. Glad you found Olio useful. I’ve been recipe testin Turmeric cakes today so need to use it myself before I eat all three version…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Since Angela Malik told us all the health benefits of Turmeric I am also thinking of how to introduce them into a dish, I am intrigued by the sound of cakes x


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