I know technically its not yet summer, but summer is just around the corner and it certainly has been feeling a lot like it of late.
On those summery days when the mercury isn’t set to spike off the charts, I find that a light soup is a great way to enjoy some of summer’s bounties.
With the rain and cool change which arrived over the weekend, I thought today was the perfect type of day to create a light summery soup and use some of the fresh produce I’ve stocked up on.
The result was this delicious zucchini and freekeh soup.
I’m sure it would be equally as satisfying during the colder months, perhaps served up with some warm, crusty bread.
Thanks to the freekeh, it takes about an hour to make but is really quite simple to prepare.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 100g pancetta, diced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup freekeh
- 1 1/2 litres chicken stock
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 400g can borlotti beans
- 2 large zucchinis (courgettes), diced
- 100g green beans, halved and trimmed
- 4 tbsp pesto
- salt and pepper
- extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat for a few minutes. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until it begins to turn translucent.
- Add the pancetta and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and freekeh. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes stirring often.
- Add the stock and rosemary. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 40 minutes.
- Drain and rinse the borlotti beans and add to the broth together with the diced zucchini and green beans.
- Leave to simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked to you liking.
- Season to taste.
- Serve in a large bowl, topped with a tablespoon of fresh pesto and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
- Freekeh (free-ka) is an ancient grain made from roasted wheat kernels. Thanks to the grains being harvested while they’re still young and green, it contains more protein, vitamins and minerals than mature wheat and other grains. It also has a low GI and is high in fibre. This superfood has a nutty taste somewhat similar to pearl barley.
- For a lighter alternative, instead of pesto, you could add fresh basil and shaved parmesan
- For a vegetarian option, you could omit the pancetta and substitute chicken stock with vegetable stock.