Warming Seasonal Recipes

Chunky knits, blankets on the sofa and the crunch of fallen rust-coloured leaves underfoot can mean only one thing: glorious autumn has arrived. Time to switch from summer salads to more hearty meals, which doesn’t have to be a chore. Each of these meals is a warming, nutritious feast cooked using only simple techniques and ingredients you won’t have to search high and low for. Aaaand relax.


Slow-cooker pork, shallot, red pepper goulash (4)




1kg diced pork shoulder, diced into 3cm pieces

2tbsp olive oil

400g shallots, roughly chopped

2 red peppers, sliced

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2tbsp mild paprika (unsmoked)

2tsp caraway seeds

400g can chopped tomatoes

300ml water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

150ml sour cream



  • Set a large pan over a high heat on the hob. Add the olive oil and brown the pork in batches, transferring to a plate as you go.
  • Once the meat has all browned, return it all back into the pan, along with any juices from the plate. Add the shallots and peppers and fry together for couple more minutes.
  • Add the garlic, paprika, caraway, tomatoes and water and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Bring up to a simmer then transfer to the slow cooker and leave to cook on high for about 8-9 hours or until the meat is really tender. Alternatively, cover with a tight-fitting lid and slide into an oven set to 100°C (fan) for the same amount of time.


Pumpkin Soup (6)


Top tips for prolonging the life of your pumpkin for Halloween: use battery-operated tea lights or glow sticks rather than candles, as the extra heat can speed up decomposition; wipe the interior of the pumpkin with lemon juice to prevent browning of the fruit.


  • 1 small pumpkin (roughly 1kg)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 stems of rosemary
  • 2tbsp honey
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 150ml double cream
  • Salt and black pepper


  • Cut the top off the pumpkin and divide into smaller chunks and scoop out the seeds. The seeds can be set aside and roasted in olive oil to either enjoy as a snack, or sprinkle over the soup when served.
  • Using a sharp knife, hollow out the flesh from the pumpkin and roughly dice.
  • Drizzle the honey and olive oil over and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until tender. Baste part way through to prevent the honey from burning.
  • Bring the stock to a boil and pour into a blender with the roasted pumpkin and double cream, adding black pepper and salt to taste. Blend until smooth and return to the hob to warm before serving.
  • Serving options include adding a swirl of double cream, more cracked black pepper, or roasted pumpkin seeds.


 Butternut pilaf with almonds and Greek yogurt (4)




2tbsp olive oil

2tbsp butter

1 onion chopped

3 cloves garlic sliced

1tbsp cumin seeds

1tbsp fennel seeds

1tsp black onion seeds

400g basmati rice

400g pumpkin diced

800ml hot chicken stock

Salt and pepper

100ml Greek yogurt

100g radishes sliced

100g roasted almonds crushed

Small bunch mint, roughly chopped

Small bunch coriander, roughly chopped

1 chilli, chopped



  • Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, fennel and black onion seeds, cook for 3 minutes, stirring every now and then until the onions are translucent.
  • Add the rice and cook for a further 2 minutes until the rice has also turned translucent, stirring the rice all the time.
  • Add the pumpkin and stock, bring to the boil and turn down the heat to a gentle simmer.
  • Season and place the lid on the pan and leave to cook without stirring for 10 minutes, or until all the stock has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes to finish cooking.
  • Remove the lid and give a gentle stir. Top with a spoonful or two of Greek yogurt and scatter the sliced radishes and remaining ingredients over the top. Serve at once.


Chicken stew with leeks and Chantenay carrots (4)



8 chicken thighs

2tbsp flour, seasoned with salt and pepper

1tbsp olive oil

2 large leeks, timed and sliced into chunks

250g Chantenay, whole & unpeeled

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2tsp dried mixed herbs such as herbs de Provence

600ml chicken stock



  • On a large plate roll the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour, making sure they are well coated all over.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large flameproof casserole or large saucepan with a lid. Fry the chicken pieces a few at a time until they are golden brown all over, transferring to a plate whilst you cook the remaining pieces.
  • When the chicken has all been fried, turn the heat down and add the leeks and Chantenay carrots. Fry for a couple of minutes, then return the chicken to the pan, along with the herbs and garlic.
  • Add the stock, bring up to the boil then cover with the lid. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for around and hour and a half, or until the chicken is just starting to fall off the bone. If the sauce is a little thin remove the lid for the final 30 minutes of cooking to allow it to thicken slightly.
  • Serve with crusty bread, mashed potato or cous cous.


Fiery asparagus and chicken pasta (4)




1 bundle asparagus

4-5 chicken thighs, cut into 6 pieces

1tbsp olive oil

100g smoked pancetta or bacon, cubed

3-4 shallots, sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 green chilli, finely chopped or 1tsp chilli powder to taste

1tbsp rosemary, very finely chopped

1 400g tin chopped tomatoes

1tsp sugar

Salt and pepper for seasoning

300g dried spaghetti pasta

50g parmesan cheese, grated



  • Trim the ends of the asparagus then chop the spears into 4-5 pieces.
  • Fry the chicken for 5-6 minutes in a hot pan with some oil then add the pancetta, shallots, garlic, chilli and rosemary and cook over a medium heat for a further 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the asparagus and chopped tomatoes then simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and sugar if too acidic.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta to the packet instructions in boiling salted water, drain then add to the sauce. Grate over some parmesan cheese before serving.


Isle of Wight tomato dhal with shallot tadka (4-6)



For the dhal:

500g vine tomatoes, quartered

1tsp sugar

Salt and pepper

2tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2tsp ground turmeric

2tsp ground coriander

200g red lentils, rinsed

½ tsp salt


For the shallot tadka:

2tbsp olive oil

1tsp fennel seeds, 1tsp cumin seeds and ½ tsp chilli flakes pounded together in a pestle and mortar

2 banana shallots, sliced



  • Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  • Spread the quartered tomatoes on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper. Drizzle with 1tbsp olive oil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Let the tomatoes cool a little and then tip them into a deep bowl and roughly blend with a stick blender.
  • Heat 1tbsp oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and spices and stir well for a couple of minutes then add the tomato mixture. Bring to a simmer, then cook for 10 minutes before adding the lentils and salt.
  • Pour in 800ml water, then bring the mixture back to a simmer for 20 minutes or so. The lentils should be cooked and the dhal thickened by now. It will thicken further if you leave it to stand for a few minutes. Adjust the seasoning to your taste.
  • Meanwhile, to make the tadka, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the spices and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring now and then until the mixture smells toasty. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often for about 10 minutes or until they are soft and lightly browned. Season with a little salt.
  • Pour the dhal into a serving dish, top with the onion tadka and serve.


Raspberry brioche pudding (8)



45g butter

10-12 slices brioche

300g raspberries

125g sugar

4 eggs

500ml double cream

300ml milk

1 orange, zest only


  • Butter the brioche and cut the slices in half diagonally. Lay half of the slices in the bottom of a large ovenproof baking dish so that the corners overlap.
  • Mash half of the raspberries with 3tbsp of sugar and spread over the brioche. Arrange the rest of the slices over the crushed raspberries then scatter over the remaining whole raspberries, tucking them in between the slices and nestling in any crevices.
  • Beat the eggs in a bowl or large jug then beat in the remaining sugar, cream, milk and orange zest until well combined. Pour all over the brioche.
  • Heat the oven to 150°C fan and allow the pudding to soak while the oven comes up to heat.
  • Once hot, cook for 35-40 minutes so that the centre of the pudding has a wobble but there’s no runny liquid.


Strawberry and rhubarb crumble (6)




500g rhubarb

100ml water

100g golden caster sugar

1tbsp Stones ginger wine

250g strawberries

75g butter

175g self-raising flour

1/2 tsp ground ginger

60g demerara sugar

1 Crunchie chocolate bar, crushed


  • Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  • Trim and cut the rhubarb and place half of it in a saucepan with the golden caster sugar, the water and the ginger wine; simmer gently until syrupy.
  • Halve the strawberries the place all the fruit and rhubarb syrup into a baking dish.
  • To make the crumble, put the butter and flour into a bowl and rub with your fingers until it resembles bread crumbs. Stir in the sugar, ginger and the crushed Crunchie bar and sprinkle generously over the fruit.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.
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