Christmas & Heather’s ‘Zucchini’ Soup

No one likes a Scrooge. There is plenty to moan about when it comes to Christmas: the snow, the Christmas trees in shop windows that appear ‘far too early’, the stress of having to buy presents for that awkward person who has everything and wants nothing, the uncomfortable feeling after you’ve eaten too many pigs-in-a-blanket, the fact that ‘Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime’ is stuck on a loop inside your head. Yes, yes: that may all be true, and it may all be a pest. But let’s give it a rest for a while, eh?

After a particularly stressful semester, I, at least, can’t wait for Christmas this year. It’s not so much Christmas day, as the whole season that I’m looking forward to. I love the smells of Christmas – the apple and cinnamon candles, the roast potatoes, the gingerbread lattes, the mulled wine, the Sellotape. I like how the twinkle-lights brighten up the miserable weather. I like the imagery of light breaking into the darkness, and the words ‘a star is born’. I like the rituals that my family have: decorating the tree, watching ‘The Muppet’s Christmas Carol’, going to the German Market in Edinburgh. I like the sounds: the silences in the candlelit service, the tearing of wrapping paper, the songs: ‘Baby it’s Cold Outside’, ‘Silent Night’, ‘Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel’.

One of the best parts of Christmas though is… the food! I love food in general… I even wrote a (fairly sizable) school project on the subject. Not only do I enjoy food, I also have a unique food-related talent: I can remember (just about) every meal I’ve ever eaten. It’s uncanny. I remember events in my life by what was being consumed at the time. ‘Oh yes, that was the time we had the potato skins with cheese and bacon bits, wasn’t it?’ ‘You were telling us about it that time you had the deep fried black pudding for a starter…’ ‘That was the first day I had a really good chat with her – I remember because I was eating potato and leek soup from the canteen’.

This recipe comes from a lovely American friend of my family. Her name is Heather. We have known her for years and before she had children of her own she used to come and visit quite a lot. She’d bring stories, and teach us card games, and make us laugh. Once she came to stay during December and brought this delicious recipe with her. While it is the kind of soup you could have all year round, we only ever have it at Christmas. It has been taken on many a winter picnic, from Culzean Castle to Edinburgh and is especially tasty when eaten with a Christmas sandwich: turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing on seedy brown bread.  I hope you enjoy it and of course, Merry Christmas!

(A note to fussy eaters: based on the ingredients it might sound a little strange – ‘Curry power? And courgettes? In a soup? Are you insane?’ – but it is brilliant, trust me!)

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Heather’s ‘Zucchini’ Soup


1 ½ lb of chopped courgettes

1 small leek, chopped

1 ¾ cups of chicken stock

2 cloves of chopped garlic

1 ½ tbsp butter

1 tsp of curry powder

1 tsp of salt

½ tsp of sugar

½ cup of evaporated milk

1 cup of buttermilk


  1. Gently fry courgettes, leek, and garlic in butter until soft
  2. Add dry ingredients (curry powder, salt and sugar) and mix through
  3. Add chicken stock, evaporated milk and buttermilk and blend
  4. Season to taste
  5. Enjoy!

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