Summer is often a time of vegetable gluts. If you are lucky enough to know a keen gardener you will probably be a regular recipient of their surplus vegetables. On this occasion, I found this wonderful vegetable sitting on a small table outside a house. Beside it was a notice saying ″Surplus Vegetables - Help Yourself″.  So I took it home and wondered what on earth I'd do with it.

The King-sized Vegetable

Is it a Marrow or a Large Courgette?
Credit: Frances Spiegel 2013

Was it a marrow or a very large courgette?

Firstly, I wasn't even sure what it was - was it a marrow, which some people call summer squash, or was it just a very large courgette? I think this was probably a marrow because when I cut it open there were lots of large seeds in it. If any keen gardeners can see from the photo just what it is, I'd be very pleased to know. Living in a city, my experience of vegetables comes from supermarket shelves where you find plenty of courgettes, all of a similar size and weight, about 150 grams, whereas this monster weighed in at a hefty 1400 grams.

The King-sized Vegetable Cut Open

Is this a Marrow?
Credit: Frances Spiegel 2013

I think this is a marrow - can anyone please confirm that it is (or is not).

This is one of my family's favourite recipes. Because I have to stick to a gluten free diet I first tried this recipe with potato flour but it was not very successful - a bit too heavy for our tastes. My second attempt, using rice flour, was slighly better, but the best option seems to be shop-bought gluten-free flour mix.

Broccoli and Marrow Soup - Ingredients Make Eight Portions

  • 1 lb (500g) marrow, washed, trimmed, and cut into two-inch cubes
  • 1 lb (500g) broccoli, washed and cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 lemon, slice thinly and remove all the seeds
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 litre gluten-free vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 to 4 grinds of fresh nutmeg or dash of ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup fromage frais. Alternatively, you could replace this with double cream


  • Two tablespoons cottage cheese with chives for garnish.

Cut up Broccoli

Broccoli Cut into Small Pieces
Credit: Frances Spiegel 2013

Cut the broccoli into small pieces.


  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and saute the onion and lemon.
  2. Sprinkle in the flour and allow to cook on a gentle heat, stirring gently until all the flour has been absorbed.
  3. Stir in the vegetable stock slowly.
  4. Add the broccoli and marrow pieces and season to taste.
  5. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until all ingredients are just beginning to soften. Leave to cool.
  6. Puree the soup using a stick blender or food processor.
  7. When ready to serve stir in the cream or fromage frais with a wire whisk and heat slowly on a gentle heat. Do not allow the mixture to come to the boil.
  8. Sprinkle with nutmeg and garnish with one tablespoon of cottage cheese with chives.

Garnish with Cottage Cheese and Chives

Broccoli and Marrow Soup
Credit: Frances Spiegel

Still Got a Surplus?

If you've still got a surplus of broccoli my Infobarrel colleague even-star offers Eight Tips for Cooking Broccoli.

If you have a surplus of marrow, often called spaghetti squash my Infobarrel colleague grayrabbit offers an extremely helpful recipe - How to Cook Spaghetti Square Correctly.