It’s cold, dark and raining outside, and at one point or another you will grow sick of constantly ordering takeout pizza and cranking up the heating.
Instead, warm yourself from the inside out, and sustain yourself through autumn and into winter with these staple dishes every seasoned and beginner home cook should know…
You’ve got to have a few soups up your sleeve. Heinz tomato is all very well, but autumn calls for spiced lentil soups, rich with coconut, and concoctions made using all the leftover root veg in your fridge. Simmer in stock until cooked through, season and blitz with a stick blender. Just add bread and butter. Done.
A classic, autumn isn’t autumn unless practically every meal is concluded with a crumble. Preferably blackberry and apple, with a generous glug of tip top aka Carnation milk – honestly, it’s the best, even better than custard. Although custard is a good shout too.
3. Sausages with lentils
There’s a time and a place for mash, and it’s normally with sausages. But for a truly autumnal dish with a bit of heft, try a moreish lake of puy lentils spiked with root veg, garlic and rosemary instead.
4. Chicken pie
Creamy sauce (with mushrooms, bacon, broccoli, leeks), tender chicken (use leftover roast meat if you’ve got it), and pastry (pastry is basically mandatory in autumn) – a good chicken pie recipe will stand you in good stead forever.
5. Cheesy mushroom tart
Mushroom season is in full swing. You may not want to (or be qualified to) go mushroom hunting, but you can still buy all sorts of varieties in supermarkets and from markets and grocers. A cheesy, rich, thyme spiked mushroom tart will make the most of them.
6. Apple cake
Apples have their moment in autumn, be it in home pressed cloudy apple juice, or just munched raw. A reliable apple cake though, with hints of caramel and cinnamon, is a thing of pure deliciousness.
7. Pasta bake
A must. Preferably laced with chilli roasted squash and cauliflower, and topped with more cheese than seems wise or necessary. A green salad on the side should bring a little brightness.
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