The roll down to the autumn season is getting closer. The first oysters fresh off the boat are, frankly, irresistible, but the rest of September’s harvest can be saved for deep midwinter. Preserve apples and freeze blackberries for use in wintry fruit pies. Here are two great autumnal recipes that you can enjoy right now:
Roast squash and sweet potato soup with buttermilk blue cheese sauce
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 butternut squash, unpeeled, halved, seeds scraped out, sliced into 2.5cm x 2.5cm cubes
- 500g sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 2.5cm thick rings
- 60ml olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1.5 litres/2 pints vegetable stock
- 125ml marsala wine
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the buttermilk cheese sauce
- 125g blue cheese, crumbled
- 250ml buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to Gas 6.
- Place the onion, chopped butternut squash and sweet potato onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until tender.
- Allow the vegetables to cool slightly, then place half into a food processor and add 500ml of the vegetable stock. Blend to a purée and transfer to a large pan. Repeat with the remaining roasted vegetables and 500ml more of the stock – transfer the purée to the pan.
- Add the remaining 500ml of vegetable stock to the food processor and stir to catch any remnants of the vegetable purée, then pour into the pan.
- Add the marsala wine and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a little more water if the soup is too thick for your liking.
- For the buttermilk cheese sauce, place the blue cheese and buttermilk into a clean food processor and blend to a paste. Transfer the blue cheese sauce to a jug or bowl.
- To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle some of the blue cheese into each bowl. Leave the sauce on the table for your guests to add more if they wish.
- 650g raw beetroot
- 500ml white or red wine vinegar
- 2 litre/3½ pints water
- pinch of salt
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 500ml olive oil
- Wash and scrub the beetroot under cold running water. Place them in a saucepan with the vinegar, salt and water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover then pan and simmer for about 1¼ hours until the beetroot is tender. Meanwhile, combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Once the beetroot is cooked, drain, place on a cloth and pat dry. Remove the skins with the help of the cloth. Cut into slices, place in the marinade and mix well. Leave for a day before serving. The beetroot will keep for several days in a covered container in the fridge but should be brought to room temperature before serving.
- Serve with some salami or air dried tuna.
The above recipes are courtesy of Nigella Lawson’s latest book!