It’s over three years since I’ve been to Brussels (photos below), and the last time was only my second visit. Would love to be able to pop over more often, especially as I’m so close to Eurostar. Anyway, the last time I’d wandered off the tourist map and ended up in a rather fashionable yet decidedly shabby part of town. A nice mix that I’m used to. So, starving as always I checked a board outside a bistro type bar that was also selling coffee – a must for me! On the menu was Courgette/Zucchini Soup as soupe du jour, and I thought: it’s going to be either/or. Glad to say it was either. The quality of food stuff, generally, in Brussels is always of a high standard. And, so too was their soup.
This is probably a pale imitation, especially as I’m cheating and using an organic chicken stock cube (for vegetarians then obviously use a vegetarian stock cube). Whereas theirs was probably home-made. This soup was also the right consistency for me as I’m not overly keen on any type of potage. With my soup I’m going with a slight twist in using a small amount of freshly squeezed lime juice – one wedge of a lime.
This is easy to make. It’s essentially a beefed-up stock and pan-fried courgettes with a drizzle of lime juice. The stock is strained into the same saucepan as the courgettes and then blitzed. It’s not a fruit soup so I’m only using a small slice of lime which is squeezed over the courgettes once they’ve taken on a nice golden colour.
Courgette/Zucchini Soup, with a hint of lime
FOR THE STOCK:
- 150g (5.29 oz) x carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 150g (5.29 oz) x onion, peeled and cut into 6 pieces
- 100g (3.52 oz) x celery, washed and roughly chopped
- 2 – 3 x medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1 x dried bay leaf, ripped
- 1 x chicken stock cube OR home-made chicken stock
- 500ml (1.05 pt US Liq) x cold water
- 4 – 6 x fresh sprigs thyme – I’m using *living pots*
- 1/4 x teaspoon cayenne pepper OR 1/4 x teaspoon red pepper flakes
FOR THE SOUP:
- olive oil
- about 450g (15.87 oz) x courgettes/zucchini, washed, trimmed, halved and sliced in half
- 1 x small wedge of lime
- single cream, to serve – optional
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- Put the first nine numbered ingredients into a large saucepan on electric heat No 4 (out of 6) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to No 2, cover with a lid and simmer for around 30 minutes. After that time strain through a metal colander into a suitable bowl and set aside. Retain the bay leaf and garlic, if you want to.
- Prep the courgettes and put them in a preheated heavy-based pan with a little oil on heat No 2 or 3. When they start to turn golden turn each piece over and continue to cook until they’re golden all over. Drizzle over the lime juice, take off heat and set aside.
- Either return the stock to its saucepan and add the courgettes or vice versa. Stir well, remove the bay leaf before pouring into a blender/liquidiser. Blitz until smooth.
Brussels, Grand-Place (Grote Markt), with la Maison du Roi (King’s House), or Broodhuis (Breadhouse) to the right of photo. This has to be thee most beautiful square I’ve ever been to. It’s as enchanting, too. Couldn’t resist taking several snaps of tourists, like myself, happily snapping every angle of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This is a very famous landmark in Central Brussels called Manneken Pis. It is a small bronze fountain sculpture depicting a naked little boy urinating into the fountain’s basin. It was designed by Jerome Duquesnoy and put in place in 1618 or 1619. Info from: Wikipedia Why the sculpture was dressed like this when I was there is anybody’s guess. Perhaps celebrating a recent festival.
The St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral. In the thirteenth century, the cathedral was renovated in the Gothic style.
Inside the rather magnificent Cathedral.
Botanical Garden of Brussels (originally founded in 1826) during a misty Autumnal morning, with the Northern financial district beyond.
All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Feed the Piglet:
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