This is a light summer soup that has elements of Elizabeth David’s soupe menerboise and is probably as near as I can get to a Provencal soup in the north of Scotland. As I am unable to grow basil with any success, I have used chervil, but parsley or coriander would also work.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions finely sliced
- 225g courgettes, diced
- 450g ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 small potatoes, peeled, diced and rinsed
- 110g shelled broad beans
- 40g pasta or moghrabieh*
- 1 litre hot water
- 3 cloves garlic
- bunch of basil, chervil, parsley or coriander
- salt and pepper
- Parmesan (optional)
- Gently sweat the onions in the olive oil until soft and melting. This will take about 15-20 minutes over a low heat
- Add the courgettes and cook for a further 10 minutes
- Add the chopped tomatoes and when softened add the potatoes and water
- Simmer gently until the potatoes are almost cooked, add the pasta and season to taste
- Pulverise the garlic with the herbs and add a trickle of olive oil to form a thick paste
- When the pasta is cooked stir in the herb oil and check the seasoning
- Serve with a sprinkling of chopped herbs and a little grated Parmesan
If you are using moghrabieh (giant couscous) you will need to soak it in boiling water for 10-15 minutes before adding to the soup.
There is also a more substantial version where the pasta is replaced with cooked rice and 1tsp of turmeric, ground cumin and ground ginger are added to the sweating onions. This is very delicately flavoured so don’t overdo the spices.