This is a lovely little dish – pale speckled green,
sprinkled with melting golden Parmesan, and tasting of sweet buttery courgettes
and aromatic basil.
A couple of cloves of garlic
1.5 pints of chicken or vegetable stock
Approx 50g Parmesan cheese
A small handful of fresh basil
(remember, you can always freeze it for another day – simply allow it to cool
and then pop a couple of ladlefuls into a sandwich bag & tie firmly).
Start by slicing the courgettes finely, and then pop them
in a large saucepan with the chopped cloves of garlic, a splash of olive oil
and a spoonful of butter. Get them sizzling gently on a low-medium heat, so
that the lovely smell of the garlic starts rising from the pan, and then peel
and chop your potato. Add it to the pan with the courgettes, and leave
everything to fry for five minutes or so, stirring every now and then. Put the
kettle on to boil and make up the chicken or vegetable stock (I used chicken,
but if you’re a vegetarian, go ahead & use vegetable stock – it’ll still be
Pour the stock in, turn the heat down and put a lid on,
then leave the vegetables to bubble gently for at least twenty minutes. While I
was making this I got absorbed doing something else and left it for a while
longer, which has no adverse effects, just make sure it doesn’t run out of
Finally, take the pan off the heat. Add the fresh basil
and whizz it all up with a hand blender (click here for my tips on essential
kitchen utensils). Return it to the hob and add the single cream, stirring well
until it’s all mixed in, and then grate the parmesan in and let it melt.
Serve up a bowlful with a little more cheese grated on
top and a few basil leaves scattered over it, with some delicious crusty bread
on the side. I recently discovered those little half-baked rolls you can buy
which you finish off in the oven, and I’m now addicted – they’re fabulous, because
it’s just like having fresh bread (crusty on the outside, warm and soft in the
middle) but with a fraction of the effort. Brilliant!