If green food is good for us, soups don’t come much more nutritious than this gorgeous Kale & Courgette Soup. The kale was an instant buy in the little local Tesco that stocks quite a few organic things. I was actually looking for spinach but settled for kale. The pack of courgettes contained three large ones; I only needed one. So it looked like soup was a good option with the spares, and why not put the kale in too!
Kale is one of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet, containing so many I’m not going to try to list them here. But basically it has lots of powerful antioxidants, high levels of Vitamin C and is said to help lower cholesterol. Courgettes (or zucchini) aren’t quite in the same mega-nutrients league, but they are nevertheless healthy vegetables. They’re said to help digestion, lower blood sugar levels, support healthy circulation through high levels of potassium (more than bananas), and have enough soluble fibre to aid healthy bowel function.
As you know by now, I eat healthily – very much a Mediterranean diet with lots of fresh veg and not a lot of meat – but I’m not really into ‘health foods’ as such. I would never cook a risotto with brown rice; prefer good quality white pasta to brown; and like lentils only in moderation. So I made this not as a health food but simply a super tasty soup to stock in my freezer for these cold winter days. The health benefits are a happy bonus.
My gorgeous grandson Freddie (4 next month) is quite a carnivore, but loves fruit and has a passion for olives. He is not, however, fond of vegetables. His parents have persuaded him that ‘green leaves’ are dinosaur food (dinosaurs are another passion) and thus he’ll now eat up the green offerings on his plate. So maybe we might call this – Dinosaur Soup!
Kale & Courgette Soup
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, roughy chopped
- 1 large potato, chopped (about 2cm cubes)
- 500g courgettes, chopped (about 2cm cubes)
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- zest of 1 lemon
- 200g prepared kale
- hot water, to cover vegetables (or stock if you have it)
Put the oil into a large saucepan (with a lid) over a medium heat. Add the onion, potato and courgette. Fry, stirring frequently, for a few minutes until they begin to colour slightly and soften a bit. Season with salt and pepper and add the lemon zest. Stir. Now add the kale – handful by handful and stirring in as you go. Its volume will quickly decrease as it wilts down. Stir to mix everything together and add enough hot water (or stock) to just cover the vegetables. Bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer, pop the lid on and leave for 20 minutes.
Check the cubes of vegetables are cooked through with a sharp knife. Turn off the heat. Blitz to a smooth purée with a hand blender. Check seasoning.
I had one generous portion for lunch with sourdough bread and a little cheese. The rest of the soup I packaged up into 4 more generous portions for the freezer – and a quick lunch another day.
It was really a gorgeous, deeply flavourful soup with a nice fresh edge from the lemon and fragrance from the garlic. Kale and courgettes turned out to be a perfect partnership!