Courgette Soup with Basil and Parmesan -Italian Style-

Courgette soup recipe, Italian Soup recipe, vegetarian recipe, zucchini, basil, parmesan

It's the end of courgette season which is a bit of a relief as they, I am sure, reproduce when left to their own device in fridges and pantries.

If courgettes are abundant and used a lot in Great Britain, courgette flowers are more of a continental thing. Courgette flowers can often be found on the menus of French or Italian restaurants. Smaller flowers are given a tempura treatment (fried in a light batter); larger flowers are typically stuffed with tomatoes and herbs or goat's cheese. 

It won't be long before we get the flowers again, (May) so we'll come back to that then but in the meantime, I'd like to share a recipe which I found floating on the net. A Delicious Italian Soup, because you never get enough courgettes recipes ....even out of season.

Courgette Soup with Basil and Parmesan -Italian Style-

Ingredients Method
500g courgettes
15g butter
1 or 2 garlic clove
1 lemon
250ml of light stock chicken or vegetable
plenty of basil leaves about 20
4 tbsp grated parmesan

1) Wash the courgettes and chop them into cubes.
2) In a saucepan, saute the courgettes cubes in olive oil on medium heat for about 2 minutes.
3) Add the minced garlic cloves and 15 of the basil leaves and continue cooking them for about 1-2 minutes.

4)Add the stock, bring to boil and cook for a further 5 minutes
5)Whizz the lot in a mixer, return to pan, add the parmesan, stir 
6)Serve with a few basil leaves to decorate

I love this recipe and want to share it as widely as possible therefore, I sent it to Meat Free Monday. 

Challenges are a great way to share recipes with others. If you are a blogger, you should take a look at Inheritance Recipes and join us from time to time, Margot and I would love to see your recipes.

Inheritance Recipes - October Round up -

Thank you all for sending your entries to our October Inheritance Recipes Link-up.

Every month, we love to read you stories. You can submit an (old or new)recipe or even two if you wish, as long as they are connected to a story the inheritance theme: Recipes you inherited through a family member, a friend or your ancestral culture. 

There is no geographical restrictions for the entries, recipes from all over the world are more than welcome. We love diversity. The Inheritance Recipes is co-hosted with Margot of Coffee and Vanilla and she will be the one to collect the entries next. 

                            Join us in November here is the linky

But before you do, have a look at (in no particular order)

  1. the amazing Pistachio, Orange and Raspberry Fondant Fancies baked by Gluten Free Alchemist, she will not do it again but she will pass the recipe on so that someone else can bake them for her :))
  2.  Chicken Fried Steak, certainly a good one to know by the Lawyer's cookbook
  3.  A twist on a crumble Mince and Tomato Crumble by Searching for Spice
  4. A Spicy Chayote Picadillo recipe 
  5. Tilapia with Coconut and Shrimps another exotic but easy recipe to make as shown by Chindima in her Fruitful Kitchen
  6. Margot at Coffee and Vanilla entered two recipes from Poland Grzaniec, definitely, one for bonfire night and Budyn as her mum makes used to make when she was little.
  7. and I added a Smoked Haddock Chowder, winter is coming.......
We share all the entries via social media channels and include them in a full round-up with images on one of our blogs at the end of the month. All entries can be seen below. Follow the links under the collage to check them out and don't forget to subscribe to our Inheritance Recipes Pinterest board (that has over 2,500 followers) and our Inheritance Recipes list on Twitter.

See you in November here is the linky        

What's New in the Kitchen #15 : Bake, Baked, Baked

Hurray, it's
a bi-monthly edition of product reviews. For the #15, the thread is what else but BAKE. 

Next week, it's the final of the GBBO. Somehow and that's certainly not thanks to my sweet baking prowess, I got kindly sent a Star Baker Apron. If you have bakers in your midst, note that Debenhams has launched a new range for "Great British Bake Off" Christmas gifts 

At just over £10, this lilac apron in a tube could be the perfect gift. It's certainly good quality.

We can't talk about baking without mentioning cheese. Specifically Cheddar. For a very long time, I turned my nose at cheddar coming from a country where cheese has been elevated to the fare of gods. Cheddar found on supermarket shelves seemed quite insipid till I worked out that there is cheddar and Wykes Farm cheddars. Wyke Farms is the UK's largest independent cheese producer making over 13000 tonnes of cheddar per year with the same award winning 150-year-old recipe. Lately, I tried their new trio and I wasn't disappointed. Give it a go. Perfect for topping soups at Halloween.

This summer, I covered a festival for the local newspaper. A stand was offering fruit crisps. I am  traditional when it comes down to crisps. No fruit, no vegetable, potato only. 
 So Emily Fruit Crisps took me by surprise, this is just a lovely product. They look like baked crisps, though it's a different process. They are certainly not oily. A bag of deliciousness. The taste is beautiful so if you come across them at Holland&Barrett, Waitrose or Sainsbury's give them a go.  

Pebble Soup HQ was privileged to be sent samples of different grades of

to cook/bake/or simply add to yoghurt.
Golden is the lightest and we probably never see it in the UK supermarkets
Amber is the next grade, still light with a delicate taste
Dark robust is my favourite and a good all rounder, I suspect that's the one we get here
Very Dark is the last to be harvested and is recommended for sauces and glazes.
Did you know that Quebec produces 90% of Canada maple syrup?

I'll soon publish my Maple Glazed Ham recipe, see you soon

At Pebble Soup HQ, meals are mostly cooked from scratch but when I'm in a hurry, I like to use Young's for the quality of their product. Guess how happy I was when I was asked to try out their new range: Hooked is all fish based, maximum quality, minimum effort. Love it. with the exception of the breakfast option smoked Salmon and scrambled egg which I thought didn't freeze well.
The full Hooked Seafood Kitchen range includes products for every meal time occasion:
·         Smoked Salmon & Scrambled Egg Royal with a Muffin
·         Smoked Haddock & Curried Scrambled Egg with a Muffin
·         Smoked Haddock & Scrambled Egg Florentine with a Muffin
·         Chunky Smoked Fish, Salmon, Butternut Squash & Corn Chowder
·         Chunky Fish & Blackbean Mexican Style Meal Soup
·         2 Salmon & Sweet Red Pepper Tartlets
·         2 Smoked Basa & Goats Cheese Tartlet
·         Smoked Haddock Parcels with Ricotta, pesto & chilli stuffing
·         Roast Seafood Platter with Black Garlic Butter
·         Smoked Salmon Mouse Blini Macarons
·         Salmon Roast with an Asian Style Crust

Disclaimer: What's new in the kitchen is a review column, some of the products are sent to Pebble Soup HQ, some are bought. Words are my own and do not review if I am asked to write a positive review.

Smoked Haddock Chowder

Have you entered the October Inheritance Recipes yet?

It's that time of the year again when we turn our thoughts to glorious soups. I would like to start the season with a fish soup. One which originated on the early transatlantic ships and is now a firm favourite on both side of the bid pond: Chowder.

Chowder is a milk/cream/roux based soup. The name is said to be derived from the French Chaudiere or chudiere which means cauldron.

I have a particular fondness for dishes which are named after the recipient they are cooked in: tagine, cataplana to name but a few. There is no reason for such a liking, it just evokes a down to earth type of approach which I find refreshing.

Fish soups don't have to be complicated, though they far too often are. So my tip here is : don't embark on making any fish soup which has a prep. time longer than 10 minutes.

Smoked haddock has a particular affinity with creamy sauces. It's rich in Iodine, vitamin B12 and naturally low in fat, though it follows that all smoked fish are higher in salt than their fresh counterparts.

My recipe is a mixture of two recipes published in the last three months, the latest Waitrose magazine and a book with a rather long subtitle which I was sent for review , I Love Soup: More Than 100 of the World's Most Delicious and Nutritious Recipes by Beverly LeBlanc.

Smoked Haddock Chowder
  • 2 smoked haddock  fillets, about 100g/4oz each, skinned and cut into chunks
  • 400ml whole milk
  • 1 tbsp of cream or 20g unsalted butter
  • 500ml fish stock (use a fish bouillon cube) I used vegetable stock
  1 tbsp plain white flour
  • onion , chopped finely
  • 1 can of sweetcorn drain
  • 1 can of butter beans drain
  • 2 onions
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • optional - bacon slices cooked and chopped - 1 tbsp cream
  • Method
  1. put the haddock in a small pan . Cover with milk, heat until boiling point and then off the heat. Set aside, milk in a pouring jug, fish in a plate.
  2. in a large pan, heat the butter add the flour, mix quickly add the milk so that you obtain a very runny bechamel. Add the fish bouillon little at the time, stir continuously. Remove from the heat. Pulse in a blender until smooth
  3. skin and flake the fish. Cook the onion in butter.
  4. Return the milk mixture to the hob, add all the ingredients, lemon, fish, onion and its juices, butter beans, sweetcorn. add the bacon and cream if using
  5. season, taste, serve
I'll be making this recipe again. In fact it's in pass to become a strong favourite which I will definitely pass on, so for that reason, I add it to the Inheritance Recipes hosted by Pebble Soup and Coffee and Vanilla and I add it to a challenge which has help us a lot along the way Cook Once Eat Twice

For more Fish or Soup recipes by Pebble Soup, click here

Give Away #34 : Win a Fairtrade Hamper

Saturday 22 October marks National Nut Day and farmer-owned Fair Trade nut company, Liberation Foods will be celebrating the many virtues of nuts as tasty, nutritious snacks, a versatile cooking ingredient, an environmentally-friendly source of protein – and, in the case of Fairtrade nuts, the positive impact they have on producer communities. 

Liberation Food was created when small-scale nut producers from Bolivia to India to Nicaragua got together to create their own company so that smallholder farmers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods and plan for the future.

To mark National Nut Day, Pebble Soup has teamed up with Liberation Foods to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a Fairtrade hamper featuring a selection of Liberation’s deliciously crunchy and tasty nuts including 

Oven Baked Chilli 
Lime Cashews with Peanuts 
Roasted Corn, 
Oven Baked Salted Cashews 
Peanuts PLUS 
a jar of crunchy peanut butter! 

For more information about the sponsor, their recipes and news, please head to Liberation Foods website

To win, use the Rafflecopter to answer a simple two-parts question. To get extra entries follow the gizmo. Here are the # for the campaign #liberateyournuts #NND16 The competition will end on the 24/10/2016

On the Roads of Corrèze with the Lancia Classic Cars Rally

I’ve been known to use unusual means of transport. I, once, “drove” a car which was perched on a trailer, through the Egyptian White Desert. Therefore, when I was asked if I would like to join fifty odd classic cars, for a Lancia rally, off the beaten tracks in Correze, I didn’t bat an eyelid and jumped at the opportunity.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t exactly know what a classic Lancia looked like. The best I could hope for was a bright shiny day to take some decent pictures and, to steer the conversation away from mechanics and bodywork repairs. Little did I know. This is a world of passionate experts. Some collect only but, for others it’s their livelihood. One of the participants entertained me with tales of his craft: he manufactures exclusive driving wheels. A couple of pilots had shipped their cars from Australia for the event. As a rule, Lancia-owners participate to a couple of rallies a year, so the main focus is squarely where it should be, the Lancia.

Driving through Correze is a dream for anybody who likes winding little roads, varied scenery and beautiful villages. Though situated in the Dordogne Valley, La Correze, is relatively unknown, there is no mass tourism. The main industry is farm-based which makes it a paradise for foodies. Here, everything is low-key. A quiet happiness and well-being seem to float over a very French way of life.Jean Paul Brunerie, organiser of car rallies in Correze and across France, had met me earlier on the steps of La Seniorie, Mercure Hotel where I stayed. The plan was to follow the vintage cars in his Rover and weather permitting I would join in a Lancia, a little later on. We’d shaken hands on the scheme and said our goodbyes until the next day.

The next morning, the sky was grey and stormy. It may have been horrible outside but the spirit in the Lancia caravan was buoyant and we were soon en route to our first stop: Aubazine. There is something to be said, for being in the warmth of a modern car which remains stable as it travels up and down and along the hairpin bends of the D150 -small road for you and me. It’s with an inner little smile that I learnt that the Lancia Aurelia’s front suspension was a sliding pillar design and you probably don’t want to experience that -whatever it is- until the scrambled eggs have settled down a little.

From Aubazine to Collonges-la-Rouge

Aubazine is best known for its connection with Mademoiselle Gabrielle Chanel

who spent her teenage years in the austere orphanage of the local Cistercian abbey where she had a terrible time but also where she drew her inspiration for her stylish black and white signature designs. Even her famous logo of two intertwined Cs can be observed in the stained glass of the abbey.

As the single road got smaller and smaller the landscape became very scenic, with its woodlands and small fields, and I could detect a hint of film-star quality in the drivers as they approached the numerous pretty medieval villages where villagers lined the streets to take pictures

Collonges-la-Rouge is definitely a star among the “Prettiest Villages of France”. Startling flamboyant -red houses built with local sandstones are organised around a covered market still containing a working bread oven. Small streets and a perfectly preserved catholic church are a glorious spectacle. On the day, the Lancia parked at its medieval door, there was a Venetian Carnival.
From Curemonte to Argentat.

By now, it had started to drizzle but the atmosphere among the classic cars drivers could not have been better. People who had come with their cars from several continents were exchanging stories, engines were admired, restoration praised and photos taken. On arrival in Curemonte, in my books the prettiest village of the circuit, the 57 equipages were getting on famously, comparing times and performance.

From the road to Branceilles on the height of Puy Turland, one gets the strategic importance of the village’s position straight away. It may be for that reason that this small village of 200 inhabitants has three castles, delightful gardens and cobbled streets.

It had become obvious that today would not be my day for taking a spin in a Lancia but I got my turn in a vintage Triumph, the next day. Our last stop, Argentat deriving from the Latin Argentoratum or river-way. It could not have been a more peaceful town. Seating on the terrace of a cafe by the docks would have been a perfect if Jean-Paul didn’t have a phone call: A car had broken down and needed assistance in the Lidl car-park. Sometimes when you live a fairy-tale, you tend to forget the realities.

Disclaimer: I travelled as a guest of the Office du Tourisme de Correze where there is a team which will be happy to advise you about vintage cars rental agencies in the area. I was not asked to write a positive review, all the words are my own and I retain the copyright of the photos.

Corrèze Tourisme - Agence de Développement et de Réservation Touristiques
45 quai Aristide Briand F-19000 TULLE
Tél. : 05 55 29 98 78
E-mail : 

Correze is served by airlines flying regular direct services to Brive-Dordogne Valley Rodez, Limoges airport from the UK. Please note that there is no public transfer available at Limoges airport.



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