Zucchini and dill soup

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We’ve been inundated with tonnes of fresh, local squash lately and we’ve almost had more than we know what to do with.  I’ve been making soups a lot as the weather has been getting cooler and this is currently one of my favourites…  It literally takes minutes to prepare so it’s a great lunchtime option.

(Serves 4)

  • 4-6 zucchini (washed and roughly chopped)
  • Generous drizzle of olive oil
  • Couple of pints of veg stock (I generally use Kallo organic stock cubes)
  • Generous sprinkle of dill (fresh or dried is fine)
  • Salty and pepper to season
  • Half a lemon
  1. Heat the olive oil up in a pan
  2. Add the zucchini and gently sauté for a few minutes to soften them
  3. Add the vegetable stock
  4. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes
  5. Remove from the heat and blend (I just used a hand-held blender for this, which worked really well and cuts down on washing up!)
  6. Add the dill, salt and pepper to taste
  7. Squeeze in the fresh lemon juice and stir
  8. Serve with warm, crusty bread

Vegetable tart with caramelised onions

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This is such a quick and easy supper and as we usually have a pack of pastry in the freezer (no, I don’t make my own – no judgment please!) plus plenty of veggies around it’s a great option for when you’re low on ingredients and short of inspiration.  It’s also great cold so a good option for picnics and packed lunches.

(Serves 4 – 6)

  • 1 pack of Jus-Rol puff pastry (ready-rolled for ultimate laziness)
  • 2-3 onions (peeled and sliced)
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Maple syrup
  • 2-3 zucchini (sliced)
  • 4-5 large vine tomatoes (sliced)
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • Oregano
  • Salt and pepper to season
  1. Grease a baking tray
  2. Place the pastry on the tray and pinch around the edges
  3. Pour the oil into a pan and add the onions – gently heat through to soften and caramelise
  4. Add a generous drizzle of maple syrup to the onions for the final few minutes of cooking
  5. In another pan add olive oil and slowly shallow-fry the zucchini slices
  6. Spread the caramelised onions evenly over the pastry and then alternate the zucchini and tomato slices
  7. Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts, oregano and salt and pepper over the vegetables
  8. Pop in the oven at 220° for 30-40 minutes
  9. Serve with new potatoes and a large green salad

Pan-fried gnocchi with zucchini, kale, spinach, pine nuts and pesto

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This is really simple, quick to make and healthy.  Plus at this time of year I always crave something a little lighter than the rich and heavy foods of the Christmas period but before I’m quite ready to head back to salads!

(Serves 2)

  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • One bag of fresh gnocchi (egg-free)
  • 2 organic zucchini
  • Two large handfuls of organic kale
  • Two large handfuls of fresh spinach
  • Small handful of pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon of vegan pesto
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Fresh juice of 1/2 a lemon
  1. Heat up a drizzle of olive oil in a non-stick pan
  2. Add sliced zucchini and gnocchi and fry for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally
  3. Add the chopped kale, pine nuts and pesto and fry for a couple more minutes
  4. Add the spinach and season to taste
  5. Mix through and serve with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice, to taste

Zucchini, broad bean and pea soup

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This is my favourite summer soup and I make it really regularly during the warmer months.   Very simple to make with delicious fresh flavours.

(Serves 4)

  • 1-2 zucchini/courgettes – diced
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen broad beans
  • 1/2 a cup frozen peas
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Handful of fresh lemon thyme
  • About 1 pint of organic vegetable stock (I use Kallo stock cubes, which are also gluten-free as well as being vegan)
  • Splash of olive oil
  • Juice from one lemon
  • Sea salt and pepper to season
  1. Pour the olive oil into a large saucepan
  2. Add the chopped onion and gently fry for a couple of minutes, to soften
  3. Add the diced zucchini to the pan and gently fry for a few minutes
  4. Add the vegetable stock, peas, broad beans and fresh herbs and cook for a further 3-4 minutes
  5. Remove from the heat and blend (I just use a hand-held blender as I find it easier in a small kitchen plus there’s less washing up!)
  6. Return the soup for he heat, squeeze in the juice of one lemon and season to taste
  7. Serve with fresh, crusty bread

Thai green coconut soup with zucchini noodles, peas, broad beans and pan-fried tofu

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I absolutely love Thai food!  This soup is really really easy to make and I love the colours of the vegetables – really vibrant and fresh.   I always crave this kind of food in the Spring when the weather isn’t quite warm enough for salads but when you want something a little lighter than the carbs and stodgy foods of winter.

(Serves 2)

  • 1-2 zucchini (courgette)
  • Organic extra-virgin coconut oil
  • Half a pack of organic firm tofu (I tend to use either ‘Cauldron’ or ‘Dragonfly’, both available in the UK but there are lots of other brands)
  • Soy sauce, ideally low-sodium
  • 1 inch chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • Large dessert-spoon of Green Thai curry paste (check that it’s vegan – lots of them contain fish)
  • 1 can coconut milk – I used the low-fat version but you can use full-fat if you prefer a creamier taste and texture
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen broad beans
  • Handful of fresh coriander (optional)

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  1. Using a spiralizer; make noodles from the zucchini
  2. Remove any excess water and then slice the tofu into fairly thin slices
  3. Pop a spoonful of the coconut oil into a wok or non-stick pan – warm it through until it melts
  4. Add the ginger and garlic
  5. Place the slices of tofu into the pan, drizzle some soy sauce over them and cook for a few minutes each side until browned before removing from the wok

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  1. Add some more coconut oil to the wok and warm through until it melts
  2. Add the Green Thai curry paste and then stir-fry the zucchini noodles for a couple of minutes
  3. Add the coconut milk and warm through with the peas and broad beans just long enough to ensure all the ingredients are hot (but not too long or the noodles will lose their delicious fresh crispiness)
  4. Serve in a bowl with the tofu and a handful of fresh coriander

Enjoy!!