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Courgette it while it’s hot

This veg and almond soup is perfect if you're after something light

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Courgette and Almond Soup

Courgette and Almond Soup

Courgette and Almond Soup

We are lucky in Dunbrody to have three gardens which are cared for by John, our gardener, and the kitchen team.

This year, we have had a lucky crop of courgette - from the traditional green courgette to the more unusual but equally tasty yellow version.

If you have courgette in your garden, you will know that once they start cropping, they can come in abundance.

A quick and easy way to use them is to make soup. Once simmered in liquid, courgettes provide a smooth texture. With a few tweaks, it can create a delicious and very light dinner option.

We are enriching the soup by adding some almond and porridge, which creates a thicker texture without the need of cream. I know it's unusual for me not to add cream to a soup, but in this case, it's not necessary.

To help achieve the best flavour, and ease of blending, ensure the almonds are soaked in water for at least 30 minutes or overnight to soften them.

One more trick, if you are using green courgette, add them once the liquid is boiling. This will help the vegetable retain its green hue and keep it fresh and vibrant in flavour.

Next is a traditional afternoon treat - apple turnover. This time, I have changed the traditional triangular shape to the oblong version. Using cooking apples are a must as they break down to a delicious compote, but you can add any other fruits such as blackberries, pear or kiwi to create new flavour.

I also suggest using butter puff pastry to give the buttery and flaky texture that we all love.

Happy cooking,

Kevin

 

Courgette and Almond Soup

Ingredients (Serves 4-6):

50g almonds, skin on

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2 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, sliced

1 leek, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 courgettes, 3 cut into chunks + 1 diced

3 tbsp porridge oats

900ml vegetable stock

4 tbsp mixed seed

Salt and pepper

Method:

1. Place the almonds in water and set aside to soak for 30 minutes or overnight to soften them.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add the onions and leek and gently sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for a further minute.

3. Add the vegetable stock, porridge oats and soaked almonds.

4. Bring to boil then add the 3 courgettes that are cut into chunks. Simmer over medium heat for a further 10 minutes. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

5. Using a hand held blender, mix into a smooth consistency. Check seasoning and adjust as required. Keep warm.

6. Next, prepare the topping. In a sauté pan, over high heat, drizzle some more oil.

7. Add the diced courgette and very quickly sauté until coloured lightly.

Add the mixed seed and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and coat the seeds.

8. Serve the warm soup immediately sprinkled with the seed topping.

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Apple turnovers

Ingredients (Serves 4-6):

2 cooking apples, chopped

30g brown sugar

1 lemon juice

300g butter puff pastry

Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water)

2 tbsp pearl sugar - optional

Method:

1. Heat oven to 200C.

2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

3. In a saucepan, add the sugar, apples and lemon juice. Cover with a lid and cook over a low/medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the apples are softened. Set aside to cool slightly.

4. Sprinkle a work surface lightly with flour. Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle and brush with egg wash.

5. Spoon the apple mixture lengthways along centre of the pastry, then fold over to enclose the apple. Using a fork or your finger, press the edges together to seal.

6. Transfer onto the baking tray and brush again with egg wash. Use a sharp knife to cut a few slits in the top of the turnover to help the pastry to cook. Sprinkle with some pearl sugar if using.

7. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until cooked through.

8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack before slicing.

9. Serve within a day for best flavour.

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TOP TIP: It'd be nuts not to give this easy almond milk recipe a go at home

I am using almonds in my soup. For lovers of maximising ingredients, you can prepare some almond milk first.

An easy way to make your own almond milk at home is to follow these steps. Place 100g of almonds in water to soak for 30 minutes minimum. Then place the soaked almonds in a food processor and add 600ml of water.

Pulse until a smooth and white liquid is achieved. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve or muslin cloth and use the milk as required and the sediment for the courgette soup.

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