A glutton for punishment

While growing your own veg is a wonderful and rewarding thing you can find yourself becoming a glutton for punishment. If you get too good at it, there can be one big problem – a glut! After weeks and months of nurturing, everything seems to ripen at the same time, so you have tonnes of tomatoes, more lettuces than Sainsbury’s and, possibly the worst of all,­ a mountain of courgettes! I don’t know what it is about courgettes, but they creep up on you. One minute you have one, the next 10 and at least two of those will have turned into marrows overnight.

The only thing to do with any glut is to ensure you have freezer space and some great recipe ideas to ring the changes and stop you getting completely bored with whichever veg is in glut.

I am currently wrestling with the annual courgette glut. Not only is my neighbour kindly giving me their excess, but I have quite a few of my own to contend with too. It is clearly a very well catalogued problem – there is even a book called ‘What Will I Do With All Those Courgettes?’ obviously written by someone who has endured many a courgette excess.

If you haven’t got time to rustle up a delicious courgette soup or veggie bake, don’t despair – some genius has invented the spiralizer! If you haven’t tried courgetti yet, you’re in for a treat. Courgette spaghetti can be made and served in less time than it takes to make conventional pasta. All you need is a spiralizer or even just a vegetable peeler. You can turn the humble courgette into the perfect healthy meal in minutes with a couple of minutes (no more) in boiling water.

If you pick your courgettes before they get too big – about the length of your hand from palm base to finger tips – you don’t even need to cook them as they are delicious eaten raw if sliced, shaved or grated.

They are very versatile and can even put on a show on the BBQ – slice thickly and brush with oil and you can griddle them. Alternatively, braise slowly in butter with crushed garlic and thyme leaves and you get a delicious pasta sauce.

But if you really feel you are sinking beneath the weight of courgettes then why not knock up a batch of soup and freeze in portions, then you can remind yourself of summer when you tuck into a warming bowl in the depths of winter. Enjoy!

This Simple Courgette Soup really is very easy to make, it freezes well and is delicious with homemade bread. It is great eaten hot or cold!

Simple Courgette Soup:


  • 450g courgettes thickly sliced
  • 700ml chicken stock, or vegetable stock if you want to keep it completely vegetarian
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano (fresh is best!)
  • ¼ teaspoon rosemary (fresh is best!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place all ingredients into a large saucepan and bring to boil
  2. Reduce heat and cover and simmer for 15-20 mins
  3. Blend in blender/processor till smooth, reheat when ready to serve, or chill and serve cold.
11 replies
  1. Diana Newson says:

    We have the same problem every year! You can add runner beans to the list as well LOL. I tend to eat the beans fresh, as I do not like them frozen. They are delicious picked young. I make soup with the extra courgettes and cook and puree the tomatoes. Then it all goes into the freezer for a taste of summer in the winter 🙂

    • Joanna Sheen says:

      Absolutely! I also don’t like frozen beans, which is a shame. Ours aren’t too brilliant this year, not sure why. Smiles, Joanna

  2. Tracy W says:

    We are going to give a small area of our garden over to growing a few veggies (or maybe fruit – I have a huge weakness for strawberries) next year. I love to make soups for the Winter months, thank you for sharing, this recipe will be added to my small collection.
    Blessings, Tracy x

  3. Alison Wallace says:

    I got this idea from a book. I love pea soup but it can be a bit heavy so now I use half courgette and half frozen peas. It tastes great and is equally good with some mint or with ham stock.

  4. ETHEL BALLA says:

    Thank you for teaching me a new word, courgettes. We call this wonderful veggie = zucchini in the States. The soup turned out great, with one addition: one can of chicken breast. With the immersible blender the meat became just part of the “creamed” soup, without adding any cream. Delicious! I will repeat the whole process this week. Will think of
    you when I will eat a good bowl of soup in the winter.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Joanna Sheen says:

      Hi Ethel, ah yes zucchini or courgette! They taste just as good whatever we called them, glad you enjoyed the soup, plus your extra ingredient. Smiles, Joanna


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