I have posted many dishes on Insta from the wonderful books of Yotam Ottolenghi. He’s a gorgeous man, so gentle in nature and his recipes are very unpretentious and full of flavour, just the way I like them. There’s not been one I haven’t liked and this soup is no exception.
As usual, I did add a few extras in, but the basis is the same. I used homemade chicken stock rather than vegetable stock (which is my preferred) and added in some extra greens as well as sautéed fennel because it seemed like a nice idea and I had some in the fridge. I am not sure what he’d make of that addition, but it was good nonetheless - I just love fennel.
We absolutely loved this soup - my partner is less of a soup person than me but he rated it as one of the best. It was even better the following day.
Here’s the recipe:
Pea, Zucchini and Basil Soup
75ml olive oil, plus extra to serve
*optional extra - half medium sized bulb of fennel, finely sliced
1 whole head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
6 zucchini, cut into 3cm-thick slices (I used two large ones and it was perhaps less thick, but still good)
Salt and black pepper
1 litre vegetable stock (I used chicken stock)
500g frozen peas
*optional extra - a big handful of spinach or kale for extra greens
50g basil leaves
200g feta, broken into 1-2cm pieces
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Heat oil in a large saucepan on a medium-high flame, then fry the fennel if you’re using for a few minutes,, before adding garlic cloves for another 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until caramelised. Add zucchini slices, two teaspoons of salt and a good dose of pepper, and fry for three minutes, stirring, until starting to brown.
Add the stock and around 250-500mll cold water (I didn’t add water to this, simply because I used less zucchinis and I didn’t want the soup too thin). Bring to the boil and cook on a high heat for seven mins, until the zucchini is soft but still nice and green. Stir in the spinach, if using then when it’s wilted add your peas and basil, and remove from the heat. Once peas are softened, blitz smooth with a stick blender or food processor.
Serve with feta and lemon zest and some fresh pea tendrils. Add more pepper to taste and a drizzle of olive oil.