I hate throwing away fresh food and one of the best ways to use up small amounts of vegetables is to make a soup.
Vegetable marrow is not the most flavoursome vegetable in the rack, having a rather delicate flavour, but that’s precisely why it can make a good base for a soup – let’s face it you could never accuse it of being over powering!
I did use a few vegetable stock cubes to get a good taste – I like Kallo organic garlic and herb – but I was very pleased with the result and, surprisingly, so was my partner who hates marrow.
CREAMY VEGETABLE MARROW AND LENTIL SOUP
750 g peeled marrow, cubed
150 g white cabbage, thinly sliced
100 g red lentils
2 ½ litres strong vegetable or chicken stock
50 g butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 large stick celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
salt and pepper
½ teaspoon mace powder
150 ml double cream
50 g plain flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
good handful basil leaves, chopped
roasted pumpkin seeds
Put the marrow in a large saucepan with the cabbage, lentils and stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Melt 25 g of the butter with the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the remaining vegetables and garlic with the herbs for a few minutes until softened but not brown.
Tip the sautéed vegetables into the saucepan with the marrow, season well with the salt and pepper and cook, covered, for a further 20 minutes until the vegetables and lentils are very tender. Stir in the mace and check the seasoning.
Allow to cool slightly then puree in a food processor until almost smooth. Pour the soup back into the cleaned saucepan.
Melt the remaining butter in a medium sized saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
Slowly beat in the cream then add some stock, a ladleful at a time, beating well until you have a mixture the consistency of thick cream.
Stir this mixture into the soup, mixing well, and heat through, stirring until the soup has thickened.
Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and serve in bowls garnished with the chopped basil, croutons and pumpkin seeds.