We hope everyone enjoyed the sunshine and made many unforgettable memories this summer. Now we are witnessing the steady transition from the sunny weather to the cool, fall breeze. The days are now shorter and the weather has become crisper. Here’s a few, easy to follow recipes on how to make tasty treats and drink, perfect for the Autumn weather.
Recipe 1: Creamy Pumpkin & Lentil Soup
Now that amazing fruits such as pumpkin are in season, why not try creating this creamy pumpkin and lentil soup. To see this recipe in more detail, please follow the link to the BBC Good Food here. This is an easy recipe to recreate and serves up to four people – perfect for a family meal! Here are the ingredients that are required:
1 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
approx 800g chopped pumpkin flesh, plus the seeds
100g split red lentil
½ small pack thyme, leaves picked, plus extra to serve
1l hot vegetable stock
pinch of salt and sugar
50g crème fraîche, plus extra to serve
Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Then, fry the onions in the pan until they start to soften and turn a golden-brown colour. Next, add the garlic, pumpkin flesh, lentils and thyme into the pan. Pour the mixture into the hot stock. After that, season, cover and simmer for about 20-25 minutes until the lentils and vegetables appear tender.
Wash the pumpkin seeds. Then, remove any remaining flesh and dry the seeds with a paper towel. Heat the 1 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan and then fry the seeds until the seeds start to jump and pop. Stir frequently but cover the pan with the led in between the stirring, to keep in the pan. When the seeds appear to look toasted, add a sprinkle of salt and a pinch of sugar and then thoroughly stir.
Using a hand blender or a food processor, whiz the pumpkin seed mixture until smooth. Them add the crème fraîche and whizz again. Do a quick taste test to assess seasoning.
You are now ready to serve the soup! Serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche, a few thyme leaves and the toasted seeds scattered on top.
Recipe 2: Butternut & Bacon Fusilli
If looking for a more filling meal, why not try out the Butternut & Bacon Fusilli. To see this recipe in more detail, please follow the link to the BBC goodfood here. This fantastic pasta dish consists of pancetta, season fruits such as butternut squash and spinach. This easy to recreate dish serves up to four people – ideal for a nutritious family dinner! Here are the ingredients that are required:
½ x 160g pack pancetta di cubetti
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
750g butternut squash, deseeded and cut into 2cm cubes
2 rosemary sprigs, leaves finely chopped
¼ tsp chilli flakes
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
350g fusilli bucati (or fusilli)
100g young leaf spinach, roughly chopped
grated parmesan, to serve
Add the pancetta into a large frying pan, set over a medium heat and cook for about 5-8 minutes – until the pancetta becomes really crispy. Then, remove using a slotted spoon, leaving the fat within the pan. Next, add the olive oil into the pan, along with the butternut squash, rosemary, chilli and garlic. Cover the mixture and cook for about 25 minutes. Stir in between until the butternut squash appears tender. Add the seasoning and then gently crush some of the butternut squash with the back of the spoon.
Boil a large pan of salted water for 15 minutes before the butter nut squash is ready. Cook the pasta in accordance to the pack’s instructions. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the excess water and reserve the cooking water. Add 1-2 ladles of pasta water to the butternut squash and let it bubble for a few minutes. Include the drained pasta into the butternut squash and toss together. Stir through the spinach and from there, the meal is ready to be divided into between plates. Finally, sprinkle over the pancetta, grated parmesan and black pepper.
Recipe 3: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
If looking to create tasty, seasonal desserts, why not have a go creating Pumpkin spice cupcakes. To see this recipe in more detail, please follow the link to the BBC goodfood here. These cupcakes are a great treat for the fall season. To make it extra special, top it off with cream cheese icing and sprinkle it off with extra pumpkin spice! Here are the ingredients that are required:
For the sponge
140g butter, softened
120g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
140g self-raising flour
2 tbsp pumpkin spice mixture or you can make your own (see ‘goes well with’)
2-3 tbsp milk, plus extra for the icing if needed
For the icing
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g icing sugar, sieved
½ tbsp pumpkin spice mixture
200g full-fat soft cheese
Pre-heat the oven to 1800 / 160C fan / gas 4. Line a muffin tin (up to 12 cupcakes) with cupcake cases. Mix the butter and sugar together using an electronic whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy. Scrape down the edges and add it into the mixture. Next, add the eggs and vanilla.
Fold in the flour and pumpkin spice, along with milk and combine until you have a smooth batter. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases using a table spoon, around 2/3 full. Bake for 12-15 minutes until they are firm to the tough and slightly golden brown. Have them cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then lift then out gently onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
While waiting for the cupcakes to cool, this would be the perfect time for make the cream cheese icing. Using a stand mixer or electric whisk, mix the butter, icing sugar and pumpkin spice together until the mixture is smooth and pale (about 1-2 minutes). Include the soft cheese into the mixture and whisk for a further 3-4 minutes. The consistency should be thick.
Now for the finishing touches. You have the option of either putting the icing into a piping bag and pipe it in a circle on top of the cupcakes, or use a spoon to apply the icing and swirl it with the back of a spoon. Top it all off with some extra pumpkin spice.
Recipe 4: Pumpkin Spice Latte
Now that the weather is getting cold, why not cosy up with a warm, seasonal drink such as a pumpkin spice latte. To see this recipe in more detail, please follow the link to the BBC goodfood here. This is the ideal drink to have for the fall season, with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin flavours! Here are the ingredients that are required:
2 tsp pumpkin purée
pinch of ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve (or use pumpkin spice)
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of ground nutmeg
30ml espresso or strong coffee
250ml milk (any will work)
Place the pumpkin purée into a large, heatproof glass or mug. Stir in the spices and expresso/strong coffee. Next, heat the milk in the saucepan, simmering over a low heat until its steamy and frothy. Grab your favourite mug and pour into the mug and spoon over ant froth. Stir to combine and then sprinkle cinnamon or pumpkin spice on top.