Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Italian Courgette Soup
with Home-made Rosemary Focaccia 

I have tried many recipes for courgette soup, all of them tasty but this is my favourite, very quick and easy to make and with home made Rosemary Focaccia.  Bellisimo!


2 tbsp olive oil
1kg courgettes, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic
Small handful basil leaves, torn
Small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
750mls chicken or vegetable stock
50g Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp double cream

Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan, add the courgettes, garlic and a just little salt.  Cook for 6 minutes until the courgettes are softened.

Add the stock and cook gently, uncovered for 10 minutes, add the torn basil and cook for 1 more minute.  Remove from the heat.

Blend until smooth.  Place the pan back on a very low heat and stir in the cream, Parmesan and parsley.  Season with pepper, taste and add salt if necessary.  (you may not need more salt if you have used stock cubes).

Reheat very gently before serving.

For the Rosemary Focaccia 

1 tsp sugar
1 (0.2oz ) packet dried yeast
5 tbsp warm water
450g self-raising flour
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (leaves only)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and yeast in warm water.  Set aside for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, place the flour and yeast mixture, stir well to combine.  Add more warm water 1 tbsp at a time until the dough comes together and all the flour has been absorbed
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute.  Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn the dough to cover it in oil.  Leave covered with a damp tea towel for 30 minutes until doubled in size

Pre-heat the oven to 240C / 475F / gas 9

Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface, knead for 1 minute and shape into an oblong.  Place on an oiled baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt flakes and chopped rosemary, bake for 10-15 minutes.

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