Sat, 26 October, 2019
Only a few days ago I was thinking how unseasonably green everything still was. Nature must have heard and woken up: it’s now all colours outside! From flame yellow maples through crimson acacias and rowans to brownish and golden oaks, autumn blossoms. The mist in the morning, early frost first thing – everything is calling for soups, casseroles and warm drinks you sip wrapped up in a blanket!
Leek and potato soup has almost magically warming qualities, especially when it’s left chunky and hearty, so you could cook a small vat of it and feed the hungry crowd, or freeze it in portions. Also magic, though requiring a little more work – totally worth it – is cassoulet, the ultimate comfort dish. Or how about baked beans with bacon and molasses? Doesn’t that sound like just the thing for a long dark October evening?
For those whose favourite comfort foods are meaty dishes, pork stroganoff might be an idea. There is cheesy spinach casserole for vegetarians, or crispy roasted chickpeas. And the one I’m certainly going to make this week: celeriac gratin.
If you look for quick cooking, go for chicken chow mein, replacing chicken with tofu if necessary. And the pasta recipe you might like is pappardelle con pangrattato, pasta with breadcrumbs or poor man’s Parmesan. Bacon optional but those crispy breadcrumbs are magic.
And finally, dessert as we can’t be without cake on long autumn nights. I’m going to make the hazelnut and ricotta torte I’d not made for far too long a time. You could bake a ginger cake with jam filling and maple syrup icing or the old fashioned molasses cake – both are the ‘bucket cake’ type, as in ‘dump everything into a bucket and stir a bit’.
Keep warm and remember: nothing like the smell of a cake baking on a cold autumn evening. Subscribe to my weekly newsletter and allow the push notifications of new recipes. Happy cooking!