Courgettes are something that you do not have to grow a lot of to get good results. If you do not have a garden, they can be grown in a pot on a balcony or patio, and a single plant will give a decent crop as long as you are not trying to feed hordes of people. For me, the difficulty with courgettes is finding new ways to deal with a glut, and this soup has proved to be just the thing. My neighbour and friend ‘Mrs Next-door’ gave me this recipe. Make loads for the freezer and it will see you through the winter.


  • 1tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Onion large, finely chopped
  • 1 Potato large, scrubbed and finely chopped
  • 3 Courgettes large, finely diced
  • 1l Vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 small bunch of mint thick stems removed
  • Lemon juice squeeze of (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A handful of parsley chopped, to garnish


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and potato and gently sauté for 2–3 minutes until soft. Add the courgettes and cook for a couple more minutes. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil.

  • STEP 2

    Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the courgettes are tender. Pour two-thirds of the soup into a blender, add the mint leaves and blend until smooth.

  • STEP 3

    Return to the remaining soup in the pan, stir to combine and gently reheat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I like to add a little lemon juice just before serving.

This recipe is taken from The Great Dixter Cookbook: Recipes from an English Garden by Aaron Bertelsen (Phaidon, 2017).


Having studied at Kew Gardens and spent two years at Jerusalem Botanical Gardens in Israel, Aaron Bertelsen is now vegetable gardener and cook at Great Dixter. His book, The Great Dixter Cookbook was published in March 2017.