In Praise of: Soup

Every year as the mercury slides down the thermometer my heart soars because I will soon have a legitimate excuse to eat soup. I love soup. Portable, delicious, filling, warming, healthy, easy to make, cheap, varied, did I mention delicious? Well, I suppose it depends on the recipe. I’ve collected quite a variety over the past few years, and I think I could happily think of a different soup to make for every day at work for a month. Whether I could actually be bothered to make them all is another thing…

I love that when ‘soup season’ comes around, the comments I get in the kitchen at work are: “Wow, that smells amazing, what is that?”, or “Another lovely soup” as opposed to a “What?! Soup? It’s 30 degrees out there!”, or “Wow. You eat a lot of soup”. Suddenly my soup-making prowess is to be admired and coveted, as opposed to ridiculed. But what’s wrong with soup in August? Apart from all the reasons above, it’s a lot less faff than salad. There’s none of that can’t-let-the-tomato-juice-make-the-croutons-soggy, or leave-the-dressing-til-serving-to-keep-your-lettuce-crisp, or (my favourite) don’t-let-the-beetroot-bleed-into-the-feta! Why the heck not? Purple feta is pretty! With soup, you bung it all in a pan while getting ready for work (or the night before if you’re organised enough), leave it for a while, poking occasionally if you feel that way inclined, then just blend and pour into a good tupperware tub. Lunch, done. I will insist on decent tupperware though. Soup is not quite as awesome when reaching into your handbag you realise that your purse and keys are floating in a carrot and coriander mire.

Today’s example of soup is a treat for the tastebuds but visually rather brings to mind what the primordial ooze probably looked like. I highly recommend giving it a try if you like your soup full of goodness but with a spicy kick which comes from the delicious ras el hanout and the lime juice. I am going to keep sharing soup recipes from time to time until you all love it as much as I do, even in Summer!

Bowl of soup
North African Courgette Soup
Serves 2

– 2 medium courgettes
– 1 stick of celery
– two large handfuls of kale
– vegetable stock
– 2 tsps ras el hanout spice
– two large handfuls of spinach
– juice of half a lime

Chop the celery and courgette and add to a saucepan, along with the kale, spice and lime juice. Pour over enough veg stock just to cover the veg, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for ten minutes (or until the courgette is easily squashed with a spoon). Stir in the spinach. Blend the whole lot until smooth, and enjoy!

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