Picture the scene. You walk through a beautiful misty woodland, your breath curling up in front of you as you snuggle up into your beautiful new Peregrine merino wool jumper to escape from the slight chill in the autumnal air. Golden leaves crunch under your feet, kept toasty warm in your boots by your Hirsch Natur woolen socks, the tranquility only interrupted by birdsong. What other time of year could this be apart from autumn, one of our favourite seasons here at the Liv house. And to celebrate, we are going to share with you a few of our yummiest autumnal recipes.
What’s better than ending a long autumn walk through the countryside that some piping hot homemade soup? Very little, we think, so here is the recipe for our favourite Slow-cooked Celery and Celeriac soup.
Prep – 20 mins
Cooking – 3 hours
What you’ll need:
1lb (450g) celery stalks, trimmed and leaves reserved
1lb (450g) celeriac
1 medium onion, peeled
2 ½ pints (1 ½ litres) hot stock, made with Marigold Swiss vegetable bouillon powder
A few bay leaves
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
2 tablespoons natural yoghurt or crème fraiche
2 teaspoons celery salt
A few celery leaves
A lidded, flameproof casserole with a capacity of 6 pints (3 ½ litres)
Firstly, a word about preparing the vegetables. You need to use a potato peeler to pare off any really stringy bits from the outside stalks of the celery. The nice thing is that the outside stalks are fine for soups – so if you’re using a whole head of celery, once you’ve weighed out the amount you need, you can keep the tender inside stalks for munching on! Peeling the celeriac may mean you lose quite a bit of the outside, as it’s very fibrous. Once that’s done, weigh it (you need 1lb/450g) and cut it into large chunks. The celery should also be cut similarly, as with the onion.
All you do now is pop the whole lot into the casserole dish and add the stock and bay leaves, along with some salt and pepper. Bring it all up to simmering on the hob, then put the lid on and transfer it to the oven to simmer very gently for three hours.
After that, remove the bay leaves, allow the soup to cool a little, and then blend until smooth. Next, return the soup to the casserole dish and bring it back to its gentle simmer, tasting to check seasoning before serving. Serve in hot bowls with the yoghurt (or crème fraiche) spooned on top and the celery salt sprinkled all over. Garnish with a few celery leaves.
If you’re more of a cake person (or indeed, fancy both soup and cake, like me!) then here is a delicious twist to the Halloween classic of Pumpkin pie. This Pumpkin cake recipe has an almost Christmassy taste to it, with lovely spices and hints of orange.
Prep -20 mins
Cook -30 mins
What you’ll need:
300g self-raising flour
300g light muscovado sugar
3 tsp mixed spice
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
4 eggs, beaten
200g butter, melted
Zest 1 orange
1 tbsp orange juice
500g (peeled weight) pumpkin or butternut squash flesh, grated
For the frosting:
230g mascarpone cheese, softened
140g icing sugar
1 teaspoon orange extract
Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4. Butter and line a 30 x 20cm baking or small roasting tin with baking parchment. Put the flour, sugar, spice, bicarbonate of soda, sultanas and salt into a large bowl and stir to combine. Beat the eggs into the melted butter, stir in the orange zest and juice, and then mix the ingredients until combined. Stir in the pumpkin. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 30 mins, or until golden and springy to the touch.
To make the frosting, beat together the cheese, icing sugar, orange zest and juice till smooth and creamy, then set aside in the fridge. When the cake is done, cool for 5 mins then turn onto a cooling rack. Prick it all over with a skewer and drizzle with the rest of the orange juice while still warm. Leave to cool completely.
If you like, trim the edges of the cake. Give the frosting a quick beat to loosen, then, using a palette knife, spread over the top of the cake in peaks and swirls. If you’re making the cake ahead, keep it in the fridge then take out as many pieces as you want before serving. Will keep, covered, for up to 3 days in the fridge.