Courge, feminine noun (une courge, la courge, des courges) = squash (pumpkin or marrow) (pronounced coorj).
Une courgette (zucchini) is a baby courge.
The family is enormous, of course, here are two photos of the type I used: a courge musquée. It is one of the tastier types of squash, a bit like a potimarron. Not just tasteless pumpkin which needs added flavouring to be in any way interesting. Quite sweet and nutty.
The family of recipes is enormous too, of course. Mine is for a leek and squash soup: soupe poireau/courge. This is a soup which is not mixed, not smooth; the vegetables are left whole.
For two people you will need:
- A very large fat leek, washed and chopped
- A little olive oil or butter
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 250gr of chunked steamed courge musquée (or raw, just cook the soup longer)
- 1 stock cube and 600ml water (or 600ml home made stock)
- A thick slice of stale wholemeal bread (2.5cm/1″)
- 100ml liquid cream
- Grated cheese
- Sweat the cleaned, chopped leek in a little olive oil or butter, on low heat for 5 minutes
- Add the garlic and the stock cubes followed by the water (or home made stock instead of cubes and water)
- Cut a thick slice of stale wholemeal bread and add whole to the top of the soup (this will pump up a lot of liquid, so make sure you have enough).
- Cook gently for 20 minutes if you are using steamed courge, or for 30 minutes if you use it raw.
- Serve the soup as it is, with the chunks and slices of vegetables, one garlic clove per warmed bowl.
- Add a good dash of cream, and share the slice of bread between the two bowls, generously covered with grated cheese.
You can also add the bread at the end, a thinner toasted slice, covered in cheese. But I prefer the rusticity of the big soup-soaked slice.
This is not a tidy dish to eat. Slurps and strings of cheese and so on abound. But it is cheap and healthy fare, and a way of using up the courge that you have left at the end of winter.