Hello and welcome to autumn on The Mother Cooker, where we are serving up the new season. My favourite time of year and now it’s official, with September 23rd marking the first day. Autumn is all encompassing for me and I absolutely adore cooking and hosting at this time of year. You can set the mood with beautiful smelling candles, lay your table with stunning crockery and pick lots of different things to adorn your table and make it a comforting and welcoming place to be. I’ve teamed up with Portmeirion to show you their timeless and extremely elegant collection by Sophie Conran.
Now if you’ve followed along for a while, you’ll know I’m obsessed with collecting plates, bowls, crockery, props, cutlery and so on. But there is something about this collection that made me feel like I’ve found what I’ve been looking for. The unusual shapes, texture and quality of this set is simply stunning and I know that I will treasure it for a very long time. It will most certainly be coming out when I have guests over and for every other special occasion. I always envied people who had matching dinner sets. For a while I thought I would never have one, because all I did was collect one off plates for my food photography. I feel I have now achieved peak grown up and it’s really nice.
But on to the recipes…
These recipes contain butternut squash and rhubarb, both of which are from my garden. I have sincerely loved growing my own food this year and being able to harvest a butternut squash is quite possibly the highlight of my growing year. Here’s to having a kitchen garden. Enjoy!
Spicy Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan and Garlic Toasts
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30-40 mins
*Can be prepped ahead and re-heated, as lasts for four days and freezes well.
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 2 carrots
- 1 white onion
- 1 red pepper
- 1 red chili, de-seeded
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 1 400ml tin coconut milk
- 1 tsp spicy paprika, 1 tsp cumin, half tsp turmeric, quarter tsp chili powder
- Black pepper
- Creme Fraiche (optional)
- 1 tiger baguette
- Fresh Parmesan
- 3 garlic cloves
- Finely chop onion, carrots, butternut squash, pepper and chili. Add to a large pan with 2 tbsp oil and cook over high heat for 5-8 minutes. Stirring frequently.
- Add spices and stir to coat, then add stock and coconut milk. Bring to the boil and then lower to a simmer, cooking for 30-35 mins. Stirring occasionally.
- Blend with a hand blender until smooth, set aside on a very low heat until toasts are done. If the soup is too thick, you can always loosen with a little more stock.
- For toasts, cut baguette on the diagonal, you’ll want 8 1 inch thick slices. grate garlic and spread evenly over bread. Then grate fresh Parmesan abundantly over the toasts, pop under the grill until golden and bubbling.
- Add one toast to the bottom of the bowl and ladle over soup. Then add another toast for dipping.
- Top with freshly ground black pepper, creme fraiche and if you wish a drizzle of olive oil.
Pasta with Walnut Pesto & Butternut Squash
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
- 500g fresh pasta
- 1 large butternut squash
- Large handful of basil
- Large handful of flat leaf parsley
- 2 garlic cloves
- Pinch salt
- 40g fresh Parmesan, grated
- Juice of half a lemon
- 30g walnuts
- Good quality olive oil
- Pre-heat oven to 200c, chop butternut squash in half, de-seed and then chop into half moons. Add to a baking tray and sprinkle on some sea salt and oil. Toss to coat and then pop in the oven for 45 mins.
- For pesto, add walnuts, herbs, cheese, lemon juice, garlic and salt to a food processor. Blitz until fine and then gradually add olive oil through the top until at a consistency you like.
- With ten mins to go of butternut squash, pop pasta into a pan of boiling water and cook. Drain, toss through pesto, add squash and serve with chopped parsley, grated Parmesan and crushed walnuts. Season to taste.
Rhubarb and Ginger Crumbles
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger juice, from grated ginger
- 500g fresh rhubarb
- 190g sugar
- 80g plain flour
- 80g unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes
- 60g porridge poats
- 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- Chop rhubarb into half inch slices on a diagonal, add to a medium pan with the sugar and cook on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the rhubarb pieces break down slightly. Gently mush them with a wooden spoon to help. You don’t want the whole thing to puree, so only leave on the heat for 10 mins max. Remove from heat. Set aside.
- Grate ginger into a fine sieve and push through to create 1 tablespoon’s worth of juice. Add to rhubarb pan, mix.
- For crumble topping, add flour, oats, sugar and butter to a bowl. Rub with your fingers until crumble consistency, leaving a few larger lumps to create a lovely crunch when cooked.
- Decant rhubarb equally into four ramekins, top with crumble mix and bake on 180c for 30-35 mins.
I hope you enjoy this three course autumn meal, I’ve really enjoyed cooking it…the smells that escape the kitchen are just divine. I’m so excited for this season and everything I have coming for The Mother Cooker and I hope you are too. Thank you for your constant support.
This post is in collaboration with Portmeirion, thank you in advance for supporting the brands that support The Mother Cooker.