It is also my favourite time of the year for food. I absolutely adore root vegetables- Beetroot, Swede, and above all, the abundance of pumpkin and squash. I am a huge fan of pumpkin and tend to put it in everything whilst it’s about.
Being an intuitive cook, I throw together soups and experiment with casseroles, both of which lend themselves to the sturdy and comforting seasonal winter produce.
Here are a few of the things I’ve been cooking the last couple of weeks:
Yam and Sweet Potato Samosas
Having Brick Lane just down the road, I love to shop in the huge Bangla Cash and Carrys. I love the aisles upon aisles of spices, lentils and curry powders, as well as the stacks of plantains and nameless exotic vegetables.
On my last shopping trip I picked up and few yams and some samosa pads. They were surprisingly easy to do- I simply boiled the yam and sweet potato and then broke down into small chunks with chopped onion, chilli and curry powder. Its also good to add a few peas.
We then spooned a small amount of the mixture onto one end of the samosa tabs, folded into triangles and shallow fried for a few minutes each, draining on kitchen paper.
Not content with just getting yam and sweet potato into our meal, I made a pumpkin curry to go with the Samosas. This was a typical Lou-style throw everything into the pot; curry spices, pumpkin, coconut, baby thai apple aubergine and plenty of cumin seeds and turmeric.
White Fish Baby Squash Curry with lime, coconut and ginger
You may recognise this! For more details on this curry, made with white fish, yellow thai curry paste, fish sauce and a mix of lime, ginger, garlic and spices, check out http://loulovesfood.blogspot.com/2010/11/dinner-squash-bowl-curry.html
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
If you’re making as many pumpkin based recipes as me, you’ll also have pleny of left over seeds. When you hollow out your pumpkin, set them aside on a piece of kitchen paper to drain. Once they have dried out, spread them on some kitchen foil on a baking tray and drizzle with oil. Give them a shake and sprinkle with chilli, powdered garlic and paprika. You can also use powdered cumin or any other spice that you fancy. Toast them in the oven for about ten or fifteen minutes- but keep an eye on them as they can burn fast! They should be slightly golden but not browned, and crunchy to chew on.
Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Chorizo Soup
This recipe has been the highlight of my autumn so far! Taken from the Cooking with Pumpkin and Squash by Brian Glover, it's really rich and flavoured. I high recommend it!
This soup involves roasting the butternut squash in oil and garlic whilst frying the chorizo with onion and then adding to chopped tomoatoes and stock. Only blending half of the this mixture with the squash ensures that it stays thick and chunky. It’s a perfect recipe for the miserable weather.
If you’re going to be making this much soup, you will be wanting fresh bad to go with it. The highlight of the season for me has been learning to make bread- granary loafs, white rolls and herb or tomato bread. I love knotting them into a variety of plaits and twists.
A-ma-zing. Early in the season we went out and found our own in the woods. Its so easy to simply slash a cross in them and toast for about half an hour. They don’t need any flavouring- they’re perfect as they are.
Apple and Maple Cupcakes (with a maple glaze)
According to my sister, who I saved one back for, these are “the perfect muffin”; moist and soft and spicy. Apple and spices have a very autumnal flavour, and the maple glaze is lovely. They aren’t too sweet either, and the flour is mixed with oatmeal so they have a lovely thick texture.
The mix is a basic muffin mix, with half the flour being replaced with rolled oats. Simply tip in chopped and slightly stewed chunks of apple with a spoonful of cinnamon, a pinch of mixed spices and half a cup of maple syrup.
The glaze is made by drizzling icing sugar mixed with maple syrup over the muffins as they cool from the oven.
I hope you enjoy what’s left of autumn! If you have a recipes or autumnal ideas you would like to share than please do leave a comment and suggest it. If you have any recipes you would like me to try, or you have tried anything pretty special yourself and would like to send the recipe or some photos, just email them to email@example.com