Summery Patty Pan Soup (vegan, gluten free, oil free)
I never ever thought I would one day be able to say this, but we're starting to have too many Patty Pans!
I hear that's what happens with bountiful gardens: you plant a few seeds and they turn into hundreds of wonderfully fresh vegetables. So I suppose I should have known. Still feels like magic to me though. Magic that I don't quite have under control. You know how the Sorcerer's Apprentice finds himself accidentally multiplying his broom until the house is taken over by a diligent army of enchanted sweeping utensils that end up washing it down a spiral of chaos? Well that's a little how I'm feeling about the Patty Pans right now.
As little difficulty as we have consuming about as much lettuce and cucumber (two other very bountiful crops in our garden) as we can grow, patty pans have proven to be a different story. Don't get me wrong: they are absolutely delicious and I love them, but I simply tend not to naturally reach for them every single day for my meals.
Long story short, I needed to use them up because, unlike their wintry brothers, summer squashes just don't last that long and I don't want to see any go to waste.
This is how I created this easy, light summer soup.
As you'd expect from the delicately mild flavour of Patty Pans, this soups does not, in and of itself, evoke the explosion of deliciousness that summer lends itself to. What it is, however, is a perfectly creamy, velvety vehicle for these wonderfully complex and bold flavours. So my recommendation is to use this little soup as a base into which you will throw everything wonderful your garden (or the farmers' market!) has to offer.
After cooking and blending the soup, I put it back on the hob for a few minutes and added sweet corn for a delightful crunch, Swiss chard for that green vibe, borage, oregano and squash flowers for a surprising burst of flavour, lots of fresh parsley and any other herbs I enjoy. Some finely diced red bell pepper would work great here, as would fresh peas or green beans.
It's the kind of soup that makes me feel like a little witch in her kitchen, throwing plants carefully selected from my garden into a bubbling cauldron like I know exactly what I'm doing!
If you're lucky enough to have too much of anything, soup is always a great idea that will take up a lot less space in the freezer and that you can re-vamp every time you have it by switching around the herbs, spices, greens and other things you decide to add to it before serving.
Summery Patty Pan Soup
Peel and slice the onion
In a large pot, add the onion with a little water (or oil) to saute until golden brown and fragrant, adding splashes of water to de-glaze the pot if necessary.
Meanwhile, chop the patty pans into large chunks. I choose not to peel them because they are young and tender, but if the seeds have started to toughen I prefer to remove them.
Rinse the lentils
Once the onion is cooked, add the patty pan cubes, the red lentils, the water or broth, the salt and the turmeric to the pot.
Cover and leave to simmer until the lentils are mushy and the squash soft.
Add in the mylk and pepper and blend using an immersion blender (or whatever blender you like to use)
Return to the pot and add in anything you like. Don't hesitate to be creative but, in my opinion, greens, sweetcorn and some kind of herb are quite necessary.
Cook on low until your greens have wilted or your harder ingredients (green beans, etc.) are fork tender but not mushy.
Ingredients for the soup base:
1 large onion (or 2 small)
3 Patty Pan squashes (medium)
1 cup of red lentils
3 cups of water or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric (or more to taste)
1/2 cup of plant based mylk (I used soy)
Freshly ground black pepper
sweet corn (already cooked)
fresh green beans
finely diced bell peppers or chillies
red chili flakes
whole, cooked legumes (beans, chickpeas, etc.)
If you try it, tag me on Instagram!