Bright green soup with feta and lemon

by Christine Knight

Bright green soup with feta and lemon

Does what it says on the tin!

Serves 4

1 tbs olive oil, plus extra to serve
knob of butter
1 medium leek, rinsed, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
1 medium courgette (zucchini), halved lengthways and sliced a few millimetres thick
2 cups (500ml) hot vegetable stock (I use Marigold vegetarian stock powder, the salt-reduced version for preference)
1 cup frozen shelled broad beans
1 cup frozen peas
feta, to serve
lemon zest, to serve
fresh parsley or tarragon, finely chopped, to serve
salt and black pepper

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, non-stick saucepan over low heat. Fry the sliced leek gently until soft but not coloured. Add the sliced courgette and fry briefly until slightly softened, but not coloured. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, blanch the frozen broad beans in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and refresh under cold running water, then pop them out of their skins. (Yes, really. Otherwise the soup won’t have the colour you want, and there will be nasty bits of broad bean skin in it to boot.) Once the 15 minutes are up, increase the heat somewhat and add the frozen peas to the soup. After another 1-2 minutes, add the broad beans too. Cook until the peas are just tender and the broad beans are heated through – a minute or so at most.

Remove the soup from the heat, transfer to a jug blender, and blend until smooth. Return to the saucepan and reheat gently and briefly. (At this point you can add a little more hot stock if you prefer a slightly thinner soup.) Taste and adjust the seasoning. Ladle into bowls and serve topped with crumbled feta, lemon zest, a drizzle of olive oil, and freshly ground black pepper. I like some finely chopped fresh tarragon on top too, but if it’s not to your taste, use parsley (or finely sliced mint or snipped chives) instead. This is good served with toasted sourdough drizzled with olive oil.