WITH crisp mornings and darker evenings just around the corner, now might be the perfect time to whip up some comforting dishes in the kitchen.
From healthy soups to warm bakes, here are some tasty autumn recipes for you to try at home…
What are the best autumn healthy soups?
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: one hour and 40 minutes.
Cost: 14p pp.
- 1 medium pumpkin
- 125g butter
- 2 onions, peeled & chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg,
- Salt and pepper, to season
- 1.7 litres chicken stock
METHOD: Cut the top off the pumpkin and set aside.
Scoop out seeds and fibres from the middle. Discard the fibres. You can keep the pumpkin seeds to roast separately.
Using a knife and a spoon hollow out the pumpkin, removing the flesh.
Leave about 3cm of flesh around the inside of the pumpkin so you have a sturdy soup container.
Melt butter in a pan with a lid on a low heat and add the onions. Cook for ten minutes until soft and golden. Add pumpkin flesh, cinnamon, nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.
Increase heat to medium and cover pan. Cook for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the base from burning, until the pumpkin is cooked through.
Add stock, bring to boil and blend soup until smooth with a hand-held blender.
Return the soup to the heat, simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat oven to 170C/335F/Gas 3.
Pour soup in the pumpkin shell. Place the pumpkin lid on it and put on a baking tray. Cook in the oven for about 45 minutes.
To serve, carefully remove it from the oven and serve the soup in the pumpkin at the table.
Ladle into individual bowls and enjoy.
What are the best autumn cakes to bake?
Pumpkin scones – 70p per serving
Preparation time: 25 mins; cooking time: 20 mins
- 40g butter
- 200g pumpkin flesh, cut into small pieces
- 225g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 handful grated cheddar
- 1 small handful fresh coriander
- 4 tbsp milk, plus extra for brushing
METHOD: Preheat the oven to 200C/fan180C/gas 6. Rub a little butter on a baking sheet to grease.
Cut the pumpkin into pieces and put into a saucepan with enough water to cover.
Bring to the boil and simmer for ten minutes. Drain and mash with a fork then leave to cool.
Put the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the butter and rub together until you get a breadcrumb-like consistency.
Add the pumpkin into the mixture then add your cheese and herbs. Also add enough milk to make a dough.
Sprinkle flour on to your work surface and knead the dough for 30 seconds.
Form the dough into balls and cut out the scones with a rounded cutter, roughly 3cm thick. Place on a baking tray, making sure they are spaced apart. Use the spare bits of dough to cut out the remainder of the scones and brush with milk.
Bake the scones in the oven for around 12 minutes, until they are a golden colour. Then remove and cool.
The best autumn warm salads
Roasted pumpkin with mushrooms traybake – £1.42 per serving
Preparation time: 10 mins; cooking time: 40 mins
- 1 medium pumpkin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 250g mushrooms
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 handful walnuts
METHOD: Slice and deseed the pumpkin then put in a large roasting tin with 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch each of salt and black pepper.
Roast for 30 minutes at 220C/200C fan/ gas 7.
Toss the mushrooms with another tbsp olive oil, a few sprigs of rosemary and a handful of walnuts.
The top autumn drinks
Indulgent marshmallow hot chocolate
- 100g of Marshmallows
- 300ml of milk
- 1 x Pack of chocolate truffles
- 1 x Canister of squirty cream
1. Place the marshmallows into a bowl and melt in the microwave – this should be done in 30 seconds on a medium-high heat.
2. Roll the rim of your mug in the melted marshmallows, making sure it's well covered.
3. Place the milk into a jug with five or six chocolate truffles, microwave for two minutes on a high heat.
4. Mix with a milk frother.
5. Put plenty of squirty cream on top.
6. Grate a chocolate truffle on top.
Top pumpkin recipes for autumn
Pumpkin and Pea Risotto – £1.53 per serving
Preparation: 15 mins – Cooking: 40 mins
A serving contains 577 calories (28% of the adult daily recommended intake; 16g fat (23%); 5g sat fat (25%); 7g sugar (8%); 1.52g salt (25%).
- 1 small pumpkin – peeled and diced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 350g risotto rice
- 150ml white wine
- 800ml vegetable stock, made from one stock cube
- 100g frozen peas
- 75g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated (or vegan alternative)
METHOD: Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Toss the diced pumpkin with 2 tbsp of the oil and garlic, and place in a roasting tin.
Cook for 25 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking, until tender and beginning to turn golden at the edges.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large pan and add the shallots.
Stir-fry over a medium heat.
Add the rice to the pan and cook, stirring, until all the grains are coated in the oil.
Add the wine and cook, stirring, until it has been completely absorbed by the rice.
Gradually add the stock, a little at a time, ensuring that the rice has absorbed what you have added before you add more.
Once the stock has been added, the grains of rice should be plump, just tender, but still with a little bite, and the risotto should have a creamy consistency.
If the rice is still too firm, add a little more stock or a drop of water until the desired consistency is achieved.
Once the risotto is cooked, stir through the pumpkin and the peas until cooked, then add the Parmigiano Reggiano.
Warm through until the cheese has melted, then serve.
TIP: ANY leftovers of this risotto are perfect dished up cold for lunchboxes.
Pumpkin pie – 47p per person
SERVES EIGHT. Preparation time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: 40 minutes. One serving contains 509 calories (25 per cent of the daily recommended intake); 38.9g fat (56 per cent); 18.4g sat fat (92 per cent); 7.4g sugar (eight per cent); 0.5g salt (eight per cent).
- 500g shortcrust pastry
- 350g pumpkin flesh, cut into pieces
- 3 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 250ml double cream
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
METHOD: Preheat oven to 200C. Lay pumpkin on a baking sheet, cover with foil and cook in oven for 15-20 minutes until soft.
Meanwhile, roll out pastry and use to line flan tin.
Line with baking paper and fill with baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes until just cooked but not too brown.
When the pumpkin is cooked, place in a food processor with sugar, cream, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla and whizz together until well mixed.
Carefully pour filling into pre-baked pastry case, reduce oven to 180C and bake for approximately 40 minutes until set. Allow to cool.
Can’t be bothered to bake during lockdown? Make these tasty desserts in just six minutes.
And delight your whole family to a cheese-fest with Mrs Crunch’s tasty recipes.
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