Autumnal eats

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. oooh I love this time of year…. the colours and smells, the darker cosy evenings, being able to get your woolies out and of course all the gorgeous comfort food.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been enjoying lots of baking and cooking up lovely stews and soups… including a favourite ‘Split Pea and Smoked Sausage Soup’ It reminds me of the pork pie and mushy peas that was always served on bonfire night when I was a kid and was a big favourite of my mums…..  mmmmm a proper taste of autumn for me….. and it’s super simple to make.

  • Take a few handfuls of split peas and rinse thoroughly
  • Bring them to the boil in a large saucepan and boil hard for about 15 mins, skim of the scum that rises during this time
  • Add one carrot, one onion and one celery stick all finely diced, salt and pepper and one bay leaf.
  • Simmer for 30 – 45 mins or until the peas are cooked and work into a smoothish soup when stirred through. (Keep stirring and checking throughout to keep it from catching on the bottom and to add more water if necessary.)

You can blend at this point if you like, but I prefer a soup with chunkier bits in.

  • Once at the texture and consistency you like, add 3-4 thick slices of smoked sausage, chopped into little cubes (I used Polish Krakowska sausage here, but I have used Kabanos before or you could use smoked ham… even chorizo might be good…. I think I’ll give it a try myself!) a pinch or two of thyme and smoked paprika and simmer for a further 10 minutes before serving.

For a veggie/pork free/a bit healthier and cheaper version I often miss out the sausage and add extra smoked paprika and grate a bit of parmesan over the bowl.

Not a very precise recipe… sorry!  And I don’t have a picture of the finished soup either…. rubbish! But I did make this last week and once it was cooked it didn’t hang around for too long :)

And for today’s autumnal sweet treat I made Pumpkin Pie.

I had never even tried pumpkin pie until I went for dinner with the girlies on C’s lovely boat last Hallowe’en and C had made one with the scooped out lantern and ooooooh I loved it! and even took some home with me (thanks C!) and I promised myself I’d try making one this year….

If you’ve never tried one, it’s basically like a rich, spicy, baked egg custard tart…. very addictive! I used this recipe here for the filling http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/4577/pumpkin-pie.aspx

and for the pastry I used this (which is my go to for a lovely crisp, sweet pastry)

200g plain flour

100g chilled butter cubed

40g icing sugar

1 egg beaten

  • Rub butter into flour until like breadcrumbs.
  • Add icing sugar and mix through.
  • Make a well in the middle and add the beaten egg.
  • With a knife cut through until the mixture is quite combined and then press together into a ball with hands.
  • Chill dough for 30 mins.
  • Roll out and line a well buttered pie dish, gently prick the bottom with a fork all over.
  • Chill again for 15 mins before adding filling

In the recipe it says to cover the pastry edges with foil so they don’t burn….. I couldn’t be bothered with it to be honest :/  but they were fine.

The only other change I would make would be to reduce the sugar by a quarter or even half…. sooooo sweet.

Oh and I have heard a rumour that it’s much better to use Butternut Squash…. which makes a lot of sense to me as I like it a million times more than pumpkin in other things…. next time I’ll give it a go and let you know which is best….. Squash off!!!

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