How To Make Cream of Courgette Soup Like A French Chef

How To Make Cream of Courgette Soup Like A French Chef

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Today I am sharing my cream of courgette soup recipe, for both the Instant Pot and stovetop, as well as the secrets to making a delicious, silky-smooth cream soup.

It’s that time of year when the veggie gardeners out there have courgettes coming out their ears. What to do with all those courgettes?!

My Cream of Courgette Soup is a great way to use up a load of courgettes in one dish, and to store up some summery delights in your freezer to cheer you in the depths of winter.

Even if you don’t have a veggie patch or a generous neighbour with a glut of courgettes, it’s worth going out to buy some when they are in season to make this elegant soup.

How To Make Cream of Courgette Soup Like A French Chef
Courgette flower and friend

Transcendental vegetation

Courgettes can seem like a bland vegetable, but in a cream of courgette soup they are transported to a higher realm of deliciousness where their delicate savoury flavour really shines through.

In France this soup is called “Velouté de Courgettes”. Velouté means velvety. If you take note of the secrets below, you will make a beautifully smooth cream of courgette soup that will blow you away and have your friends asking for the recipe. And don’t worry – it’s so easy!

The secrets to a velvety-smooth cream of courgette soup

When I was 20 years old, I jacked in my soul-destroying office job in Toronto and ran off to work as a silver service waitress at a posh tennis resort in northern Ontario. My parents were so proud ;-( Staff got to partake of the lunch buffet when the lunch service was over. It was here I first encountered and fell in love with cream of courgette soup.

I took to pestering the chefs, who were imported from France, to teach me how they made such delicious soup. And friends, it mainly boils down to our first secret, the humble potato.

  • Secret no. 1: Potatoes. This is the most important of the cream soup secrets. Potatoes add body and a creaminess to cream soups, as well as their subtle flavour. A cream soup made without taters will be watery even if it’s thick.
    There are exceptions, such as when you make a cream soup with a roux, basically making a white sauce and adding chopped vegetables to it, as in a cream of mushroom soup, or when using starchy vegetables such as jerusalem artichokes, winter squashes, carrots or parsnips. But even with the latter I would use a potato or two for the creamy factor they add. So unless you’re making a roux, add some potatoes.
  • Secret no. 2: Don’t use whopper courgettes. Gardeners, I’m looking at you ;) It’s tempting to dump those overgrown monsters into a soup, and be done with them. Don’t do it! Trust me, I know! (Guilty marrow soup-maker snivelling). Marrows are tasteless, not to mention stringy and tough-skinned. Do yourself a favour, and pick your courgettes when they are nice and young, as this is what provides the best flavour. Save a few days worth of young courgettes in the fridge until you have enough to make a batch of soup. Then you will say, “WOW! Cream of courgette soup is bloody delicious!”
  • Secret no. 3: Get your cooking right. Cook just long enough to soften the veggies, as veloutés are all about the silky-smooth mouth-feel. You don’t want any lumps of undercooked veg. Good cooking times will also keep the colour of your veggies vibrant and make your soup more appetising.
  • Secret no. 4: Blend the hell out of it. I like to use my hand blender (AKA immersion or stick blender) to blend cream soups, as it’s nice and easy, involves no extra stuff to wash up, and removes the dangerous faff of doing batches of hot liquid in a blender. However you blend the soup, make sure you do it long enough so it’s creamy and lump-free, and that all the little bits of courgette skin are reduced to tiny flecks. It generally takes a couple of minutes of blending to achieve a perfectly smooth soup.
How To Make Cream of Courgette Soup Like A French Chef
Secret no. 2 – You have been warned

Veganise it

You can make this soup vegan by using oil instead of butter to sweat the onions, and a vegan cream to finish it off. My favourite is cashew cream, as to me it tastes the closest to dairy cream. The high fat content of the nuts imparts a richness and creaminess that bought soya, rice or oat creams just cannot match.

You can soak raw cashew nuts overnight in water and blend them to make your own cream, or do my lazy method, which is to mix a little cashew butter with water till you achieve a nice pourable consistency.

Adding the cream

As I cook big, most of the soup will go into the freezer for future meals. I freeze the soup without the cream, and add it just before serving.

Sometimes the cream goes directly into the pot when the soup is already hot, in which case I just give it a minute or so more to heat through. I try not to let it boil, as the bubbles can make the soup look a little scuzzy, and no one wants scuzzy soup!

How To Make Cream of Courgette Soup Like A French Chef
To make this swirl, I poured single cream over the back of a spoon which resulted in spiral of dots, and then dragged a skewer through the dots.

If I’m feeling all puffed up and full of myself (like on a day I’ve gone jogging or cleaned the fridge!), I might swirl the cream on top once the soup is in the bowl.

If the fridge cleaning has bummed me out and sapped my will to live, I might do both – and then eat ice cream!

Not just soup

This soup can serve as an excellent gluten free or dairy free (if made vegan) base for a sauce for pasta, vegetables, rice or wherever you would use a white sauce.

Customise it with:

  • grated cheese
  • cream cheese
  • chopped herbs, tomatoes, olives, chillies, garlic, green onion, etc
  • lemon juice and zest
  • pesto sauce
  • sautééd curry spices for an instant curry sauce
  • Thai or Indian curry paste
  • coconut milk
  • sautéed mushrooms, garlic, parsley and a glug of white wine for a creamy mushroom sauce

Use it:

  • over steamed cauliflower florets, add cheese and bake it in the oven for a wonderful cauliflower cheese gratin
  • as the bechamel sauce in lasagna or a vegetable cobbler
  • on or in savoury pancakes or crêpes
  • as a pasta sauce
  • over yorkshire puddings with chunks of steamed veg added
  • as the base for a savoury pie filling
  • on gnocchi, dumplings, or koftas with the flavourings of your choice added

Go crazy! Let me know in the comments below if you have other ways to use it, and I’ll add them to my list.

Stovetop or Instant Pot?

Honestly, there’s not a lot in it. Time-wise, they are similar.

The advantage of the Instant Pot is you bung it in, and walk away!

If you want to make a whopper pot of soup, go stovetop. This recipe makes 8 – 10 servings, and fills the Instant Pot to its maximum capacity.

How To Make Cream of Courgette Soup Like A French Chef
This recipe fills the Instant Pot to capacity

Instant Pot Method

Press the SAUTE button and wait for the display to show HOT. Add the oil or butter and the chopped onions and cook, stirring often, for about 3-4 minutes without browning till the onions are translucent. Press CANCEL.

Add the garlic, potatoes, courgettes, vegetable stock cubes, a few grindings of black pepper, and water to the Instant Pot. Close the lid, and set the vent to SEALING.

Press the SOUP function, and set the timer for 5 minutes.

When the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, and then do a quick release before carefully opening the lid.

Remove the inner pot, and blend with a hand blender until the soup is velvety-smooth.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the cream to the pot of soup or garnish each bowl of soup with a swirl of cream.

Stovetop Method

Heat the butter or oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring often, for about 3-4 minutes without browning till the onions are translucent.

Add the water and bring it to the boil (use hot water from the kettle to save time), then add the garlic, potatoes, courgettes, vegetable stock cubes and a few grindings of black pepper.

Simmer the soup for about 12 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Remove from the heat and blend with a hand blender until the soup is velvety-smooth.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the cream to the pot of soup or garnish each bowl of soup with a swirl of cream.

How To Make Cream of Courgette Soup Like A French Chef

Print
Soups

Cream of Courgette Soup


  • Author: Janine
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: approx. 15 mins
  • Total Time: -25742226.15 minute
  • Yield: 8 - 10 servings

Description

A velvety-smooth cream of courgette soup, as taught to me by French chefs.


Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 2 medium onions, about 200g peeled weight, chopped into 1″ dice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 medium potatoes, about 350g peeled weight, chopped into 1″ dice
  • 1.5 kg or just over 3 lbs courgettes, chopped into 1″ dice
  • 1.25 litres, 2 pints or 3 3/4 cups vegetable stock (or water and 2-3 vegetable stock cubes)
  • salt and pepper
  • 100ml, 4 fl.oz, or 1/2 cup cream (single, whipping, half and half or cashew cream)

Instructions

Stovetop Method

  1. Heat the butter or oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring often, for about 3-4 minutes without browning till the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the water and bring it to the boil (use hot water from the kettle to save time), then add the garlic, potatoes, courgettes, vegetable stock cubes and a few grindings of black pepper.
  3. Simmer the soup for about 12 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Remove from the heat and blend thoroughly with a hand blender until the soup is velvety-smooth.
  5. Add the cream to the pot of soup or garnish each bowl of soup with a swirl of cream.

Instant Pot Method

  1. Press the SAUTE button and wait for the display to show HOT. Add the oil or butter and the chopped onions and cook, stirring often, for about 3-4 minutes without browning till the onions are translucent. Press CANCEL.
  2. Add the garlic, potatoes, courgettes, vegetable stock cubes, a few grindings of black pepper, and water to the Instant Pot. Close the lid, and set the vent to SEALING.
  3. Press the SOUP function, and set the timer for 5 minutes.
  4. When the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, and then do a quick release before carefully opening the lid.
  5. Remove the inner pot, and blend thoroughly with a hand blender until the soup is velvety-smooth.
  6. Add the cream to the pot of soup or garnish each bowl of soup with a swirl of cream.

Notes

This soup can serve as an excellent gluten free or dairy free (if made vegan) base for a sauce for pasta, vegetables, rice or wherever you would use a white sauce.

Don’t worry if you have slightly more courgettes or potatoes, as this recipe allows some flexibility.

Replace the courgettes with other veggies or a blend of veggies, for delicious cream soup variations.

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How To Make Cream of Courgette Soup Like A French Chef

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In this Cream of Courgette Soup recipe for both Instant Pot and stovetop, I share the secrets to making a silky-smooth cream soup like a professional chef.
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Hello! I'm Janine and my goal at The Inspiration Cloud is to inspire you to cultivate well-being on all levels, so that you in turn can inspire others.

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