How to cook the perfect autumn warmers
As the seasons change and we wave a reluctant goodbye to summer, there’s no better feeling than reaching for warming comfort foods.
Autumn staples like sausage and mash or Shepherd’s Pie are great go-tos for chilly nights in. But if you’re looking to expand your repertoire of warming dishes, look no further than our recipes below. We've teamed up with Hotpoint and Jamie Oliver’s Cookery School to bring you mouth-watering recipes that are perfect for autumn brunches, lunches and meals with friends.
Roasted butternut squash soup
A roasted squash soup is the perfect warming dish for any autumn lunch or get together. Our creamy recipe is filling, healthy and an easy way to get your daily dose of veg. Serve with freshly baked bread, like our focaccia recipe below, to score serious points with your guests.
2kg butternut squash
5 cloves of garlic
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 sticks of celery
2 red onions
2 organic chicken or vegetable
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
extra virgin olive oil
optional garnish: thinly sliced red chilli
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas 3.
2. Deseed the squash, then chop into wedges.
3. Place the wedges on a large baking tray and lightly drizzle with olive oil.
4. Gently squash the garlic cloves in their skins and scatter across the baking tray with the picked thyme leaves. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
5. Roast for 1 hour, or until soft and caramelised at the edges.
6. Meanwhile, peel and roughly slice the carrots, chop the celery, and peel and roughly chop the onions.
7. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large pan over a medium heat, add all the prepped ingredients, then cook with the lid ajar for 30 minutes, or until softened.
8. Crumble the stock cubes into a jug, cover with 1.5 litres of boiling water, and stir until dissolved.
9. Once cooked, add the squash to the pan and pour over the stock. Squeeze the garlic out of its skin and add to the pan.
10. Bring to a simmer for a couple of minutes until hot through, then remove from the heat.
11. Using a stick blender, carefully pulse the soup until smooth. Taste and check the seasoning.
12. Divide between bowls, add a dollop of crème fraîche and a lug of extra virgin olive oil to each, and scatter with red chilli, if you like.
A freshly baked focaccia is great for sharing and ideal if you’ve got a few mouths to feed. Our recipe uses Italian flour and sprigs of fresh rosemary to create a light chewy bread that’s packed with rich Mediterranean flavours.
325g strong bread flour
150g Italian tipo “00” flour
extra virgin olive oil
15g fresh yeast
1 sprig of rosemary
1. Combine the bread flour, 00 flour, yeast, 200ml of tepid water, 65ml of extra virgin olive oil, yeast and a good pinch of sea salt in a mixing bowl and knead gently for 5 to 10 minutes until smooth.
2. Cover the mixing bowl and leave to rest in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
3. While the dough is rising, prepare a baking tray by lightly oiling the base and sides with vegetable oil.
4. Transfer the dough to the baking tray. Spread out evenly using the palm of your hands and gently expel the air from the dough, then rub 15ml of extra virgin olive oil over the surface of the dough using your fingertips.
5. ‘Dimple’ the dough ensuring that you don’t press all the way through to the base. Rip up your rosemary leaves and poke them gently into the bread.
6. Cover the dough again and leave to rest for a further 20 to 40 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
7. Pre-heat oven to 200ºC/410ºF/Gas 6.
8. Place the baking tray in the pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Once cooked, carefully remove from the oven and drizzle with a little more extra virgin olive oil. Serve warm or cold with a small bowls of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
On a roll at Jamie Oliver’s cookery school
It’s hard to beat the taste of freshly-baked bread dipped in delicious veg soup. And just this week, we invited a group of foodie bloggers to enjoy this awesome pairing for themselves. A group of lifestyle and food bloggers paid a visit to the Jamie Oliver Cookery School where they learned how to bake a selection of warming winter breads including focaccias and crusty white rolls.
Guests got to enjoy their baked treats with a scrumptious squash soup that everyone was keen try out again at home. Check out the hashtag #AutumnalBakes for mouth-watering pics of their creations and more photos from the event.
Love baking warming foods for family and friends? Check out the wide range of stylish and multi-functional Hotpoint ovens at Currys – that make light work of cooking autumn meals.