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Happiness Soup

by . Featured in NIGELLA SUMMER
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Introduction

Forgive the tweeness of the title, but this is a soup of such sunny, mood-enhancing yellowness that it overcomes even the most pervasively innate cynicism. To eat this is to feel cheered; even cooking it gives me a lift.

It's incredibly easy to make, but that's not the clincher. This golden broth, rice-thickened and studded with a confetti dice of yellow courgettes and sprightly with lemon is pure joy. You only have to see it to believe it. And not surprisingly in some Middle-Eastern cultures, it is believed, in Claudia Roden's words, that 'eating yellow foods will result in laughter and happiness'.

This, then, is a yellow soup to banish the blues.

Forgive the tweeness of the title, but this is a soup of such sunny, mood-enhancing yellowness that it overcomes even the most pervasively innate cynicism. To eat this is to feel cheered; even cooking it gives me a lift.

It's incredibly easy to make, but that's not the clincher. This golden broth, rice-thickened and studded with a confetti dice of yellow courgettes and sprightly with lemon is pure joy. You only have to see it to believe it. And not surprisingly in some Middle-Eastern cultures, it is believed, in Claudia Roden's words, that 'eating yellow foods will result in laughter and happiness'.

This, then, is a yellow soup to banish the blues.

Happiness Soup
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 4-6

Metric Cups
  • 500 grams yellow courgette
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 litre vegetable stock (or chicken stock for non-vegetarians)
  • 100 grams basmati rice
  • maldon salt
  • pepper
  • 1 pound yellow squash
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or chicken stock for non-vegetarians)
  • ½ cup basmati rice
  • sea salt flakes
  • pepper

Method

  1. Cut the courgettes - wash them by all means if you want, but don't bother to peel them - into 5mm / one-eighth of an inch rings, and then finely dice them. Put them into a pan with the lemon zest and oil, stir to coat, then cook on a gentle heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they've slightly softened.
  2. Stir in the turmeric and pour in the stock and lemon juice and then drop in the rice. And for the stock here, as usual I make up some bouillon concentrate with water; you could use vegetable stock if you prefer, but I love the mellow goldenness you get from chicken.
  3. Cook, uncovered, for 10-20 minutes, or just until the courgettes and rice are tender. Taste for seasoning.
  4. Leave to cool slightly before serving so that you eat the soup warm rather than hot.
  1. Cut the courgettes - wash them by all means if you want, but don't bother to peel them - into 5mm / one-eighth of an inch rings, and then finely dice them. Put them into a pan with the lemon zest and oil, stir to coat, then cook on a gentle heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they've slightly softened.
  2. Stir in the turmeric and pour in the stock and lemon juice and then drop in the rice. And for the stock here, as usual I make up some bouillon concentrate with water; you could use vegetable broth if you prefer, but I love the mellow goldenness you get from chicken.
  3. Cook, uncovered, for 10-20 minutes, or just until the courgettes and rice are tender. Taste for seasoning.
  4. Leave to cool slightly before serving so that you eat the soup warm rather than hot.

Tell us what you think

What 6 Others have said

  • I tried this recipe last night and I must say the soup is delicious. I really adore all the tastes in the broth, above all the zest. AMAZING!!! I'll cook it as soon as I have some guests coming. I think it will figure out great.

    Posted by Chris81 on 16th September 2015
  • I just made this today, exactly the way the recipe said, and lo behold, it was excellent. I never realized how much turmeric played a role in the taste of Thai food. It tasted like a simple Thai soup.

    Posted by jpete88 on 13th August 2014
  • This has become a family favorite. When we can not find yellow zucchini we use green and call it summertime soup. Occasionally we add the meat from a rotisserie chicken and it is even that much better. Thanks for sharing your love of food and cooking with us!

    Posted by smodi65 on 4th September 2013
  • A friend gave me a glut of yellow courgettes an hour ago. They are now Hapiness Soup. I pimped mine slightly with a white onion and a little more spice but the light citrussy fragrant broth is just delicious.

    Posted by Dibbers14 on 24th August 2013
  • This looks so, so good...a great soup to make for the season between late summer and early autumn. Mmmm...

    Posted by littleredyarn on 20th August 2012
  • After finally finding Yellow Courgettes i have now made a tried this recipe as i was dying to, and it didn't dissapoint. I did a bit of potching and have added the cheesy tortilla chips (well, made from chapatis) from the Corn Chowder recipe...Good!

    Posted by Diz0702 on 19th May 2011
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