Warming October recipes
By Edwina

 

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons. I love the colour changes the season brings both outside in nature, but also in my kitchen.  As the evenings draw in, thoughts turn to hearty soups and tasty casseroles. The beauty with these is that they are great for batch cooking and can often be done in one pot or a slow cooker - so less fuss and less washing up! Definitely something to be optimistic about!

Here are my two current favourites:

Both serve four. 

Root vegetable stew with herby dumplings 

Ingredients:

  • A glug of rapeseed oil
  • 1 large leek, finely chopped
  • 300g each of parsnips, carrots and turnip, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 pint of vegetable stock 
  • 1 bay leaf 

 

For the herby dumplings:

  • 100g self raising flour
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 50g cheddar cheese, grated (I always buy cheese by the block and grate it myself. I find pre-grated cheese really starchy)
  • tsps finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme 

 

Method 

Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan). Heat the oil in an oven-proof casserole and fry the leek for about 5 minutes until softened. (Keep stirring so it doesn’t catch) Add the vegetables and fry for 5 mins. Add the garlic and cook for a further 1 min. 

 

Stir in the paprika, tomato purée and 1 tbsp of flour. Cook for 1 min, then pour in the veg stock - the vegetables should be covered. Add the bay leaf. Cover the casserole and cook in the oven for 20min.

 

Meanwhile, rub the flour and butter together to form breadcrumbs. Add the cheese, and herbs and mix well. Sprinkle over 2 -3 tbsp cold water, mix to form a soft dough and divide into 8 and roll into balls. (Add more water if needed) 

 

After 20 mins, dot on top of the stew and pop back in the oven and cook covered for 15 minutes, and uncovered for a further 5 until the dumplings are golden. 

 

If you are happy that you’ve getting your carbs through the parsnip and potato and want to leave out the dumplings, just cook the stew for 30-35 minutes in total.

 

It would also be lovely served with a side of braised red cabbage - imagine the colour combination! 

 

 

Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup

 

I know people who don’t consider soup as satisfying or filling! 

Well..... this one certainly is. For me it’s all about the consistency and the toppings.

For this soup, I add toasted seeds and homemade croutons. Both of these can be made in advance and stored in an air tight container and croutons are great for using up stale bread. 

 

For the croutons:

Remove the crusts and chop stale bread into small bite sized cubes. This helps them to fry evenly. In a frying pan, add a glug of oil and once it’s hot, add the bread and fry until crispy and evenly cooked on all sides. Remove, dry on a sheet of kitchen roll and let cool completely before storing in an airtight container. 

 

For the toasted seeds:

Dry fry pumpkin seeds in a pan until they start to pop and then add some desiccated coconut and fry for another minute or two. 

Remove from the pan, cool completely before storing in an airtight container. 

 

Soup Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 large celery stick, finely sliced 
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 pint veg stock 
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Rapeseed oil
 
 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 220ºC (200ºC fan), drizzle the sweet potato and garlic with rapeseed oil and salt and pepper and roast for about 30 minutes until the sweet potato is soft. This can also be done in advance and stored in an airtight container stored in the fridge. Roasting the sweet potato and garlic intensifies the flavour in my opinion. 

 

Meanwhile, drizzle more oil in a large pan and fry the onion and celery for 10 minutes until translucent. Add a splash of stock if starting to stick or colour. 

 

When the sweet potato is cooked add it to the onion and celery along with the stock and the coconut milk, bring to the boil and then reduce and simmer for about 15 minutes. 

 

I like my soup chunky, so I blitz half and leave the other half chunky - but if you like it smooth, blitz it all. Taste, season and serve with toppings. 

 

 

Edwina is the owner of Get Well Fed, a catering company providing an alternative to the usual beige offering. Forget brown carb laden food and choose colour, texture and flavour and Get Well Fed. 

 

Follow Edwina on Instagram @eohart for further recipes and Get Well Fed on Facebook @GetWellFed or Instagram @get_well_fed.