Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (September 2015) and taken from In the Mood for Healthy Food by Jo Pratt.
This soup is packed with green vegetable goodness, and vitamins and minerals galore. The soup alone is great, but the croutons are a real tasty treat to scatter over the top, too. They’re salty, crunchy and very moreish.
Serves : 6
2 tblsp olive oil
1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 medium-large courgette, sliced
1 litre vegetable stock
300g spring greens, roughly chopped
100g frozen peas, defrosted
1 large handful of fresh mint leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the croutons:
100g feta cheese
50g pumpkin seeds
1 tblsp olive oil
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp sumac
Step One : Preheat the oven to 220oC. Make the croutons first : break the feta into small chunks and gently mix together with the pumpkin seeds, olive oil, dried chilli flakes and sumac. Spread in a single layer on a non-stick baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes, shaking the tray once to ensure even cooking. When cooked, the feta should start to turn golden in places, and the pumpkin seeds will be crunch and puffed up. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Step Two : Meanwhile, make the soup. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the fennel and garlic and gently sauté for about 5 minutes until the fennel is softened, but not coloured. Stir in the leek and courgette and continue to sauté for 5 minutes, then add the stock. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a simmer, then add the spring greens and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the peas, and as soon as the soup returns to a simmer, cook for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the mint.
Step Three : Using a blender, blitz the soup until it is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with the pumpkin seed and feta croutons scattered on top.