At his restaurant Foliage in Franschhoek, chef Chris Erasmus uses foraged ingredients for his original dishes. You simply must try his Pumpkin and Ginger Soup with Nettle Pesto recipe.
- 1,8kg pumpkin, diced into 3cm chunks (or butternut)
- 140g brown sugar
- 40g fresh ginger, chopped
- 20g salt
- 150g butter
- 1 litre vegetable/chicken stock
- 200g cream
- Nettle Pesto
- 250g stinging nettle leaves (use gloves when you pick them)
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 2 tbs olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- Place all the soup ingredients except the stock and cream in a pot and secure the lid. Cook over low heat until the pumpkin is soft. Add stock and cream, bring to the boil and blend until smooth. Pass the soup through a sieve.
- For the pesto, bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the nettle for 1 minute. Strain and refresh the nettle in ice water. Strain off the water and squeeze dry the nettle. Place in a blender with the remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth.
- Serve the soup hot or cold, with a tablespoon of pesto in each bowl.
Wine suggestion: Stony Brook The ‘J’
- Substitute nettle with basil or kale
- Dandelion pesto done this way is divine
You’ll want to follow up this delicious soup with chef Chris Erasmus’ Honey and Apple-cured Cape Mullet with Tomato Ragout, and Dandelion and Pumpkin Seed Butter recipe.