This is a lovely vegetarian option for when you feel like saving the planet: a pan-roasted ginger and pumpkin soup with fresh spinach, seared feta cheese, pine kernels and toasted pumpkin seeds.
It’s fairly quickly made, looks good, tastes great and helps save the planet!
Remove skin and seed from a nice squash or pumpkin, then dice the flesh and dry roast it in a non-sticking frying pan until is is nicely caramelized. I include a dried red chilly, two large gloves of garlic, a teaspoon of coriander seeds, two star anise and a few twigs ot thyme for flavour.
Add a pint of water, a pinch of salt and a large thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, grated. Stir, turn the heat down and let simmer gently for a few minutes.
Toast a handful of pine kernels and set aside.
Toast a handful of pumpkin seeds until they are popping nicely, set aside.
Wash and drain the fresh spinach.
Now return to the soup. Remove chilly, anise and twigs, then blizz the rest in a blender, adding a little more water if necessary. Season to taste and keep warm.
Heat some olive oil with a glove of garlic, then add the fresh spinach to moderate heat. Close the lid to let steam gently.
Cut a generous piece of feta chesse per portion and put in a non-sticking frying pan and reasonably high heat. The idea is to heat it up, partially melt it and, if your feta is sufficiently dry, lightly caramelize it around the edges.
Finally, the assembly:
Mix the pine kernels with the spinach and build a nest in the middle of each plate, then put the feta on top. Surround it with the soup. Try to marble the soup with soured cream or double cream, which looks good and rounds the flavour, then sprinkle the toasted pumpkin seeds around the perimeter. Add a drizzle of chilly oil or pumpkin seed oil.