September is a fantastic month for seasonal
produce, hedgerows are full of juicy ripe blackberries, orchard trees
are heavy with apples and pears and we cannot forget good old damsons and plums which are in season too.
There's also an abundance of delicious vegetables, which are harvested at this time of the year,
including sweetcorn, cabbage, beetroot, squash and pumpkins.
With so many delicious fruits and vegetables available at the moment, it got us thinking
about the dishes we enjoy eating at this time of the year and we thought we'd share a couple of recipes we love making.
These recipes use local seasonal produce, some of which
we can forage for in the countryside around us.
We hope you enjoy making them as much as we do!
& Apple Soup
1 Large Onion – Diced
2 Small Cooking Apples – Peeled &
Cored, Roughly Diced
1 Small Pumpkin (750g) – Skinned, Deseeded
and chopped into Cubes
2 Teaspoons Fresh Thyme - Chopped
1 Litre Vegetable Stock
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Wholegrain Mustard
2 Tablespoons Soft, Dark Brown Sugar
125g Crème Fraiche
Salt & Pepper
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over a
low heat. Once melted, add the onions and thyme and gently fry, stirring
frequently until the onions are soft and begin to colour. Add the apples and
sugar and cook gently a further 3 minutes.
Add the pumpkin, mustard & stock and
bring to the boil. Once boiled, lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer until
the apples and pumpkin are very soft (approximately 15 – 20 minutes)
Blend the mixture until smooth and stir in
half of the crème fraiche. Season with salt and pepper and heat the mixture
Serve in warm bowls and for a finishing
touch, swirl in a spoon of crème fraiche.
Tip: You may want to
try roasting the pumpkin seeds whilst making your soup and sprinkling these on
top of your soup for added taste and texture.
This delightful homemade jelly works particularly
well with meats and cheeses and if stored properly will last up to 6 months. It’s
a lovely way to create a homemade gift to give friends and family over the Christmas
Juice of 2 Large Lemons
1.3kg Preserving or White Sugar
Put the fruit and lemon juice in a large
saucepan and add water until it reaches just below the level of fruit. Cover
and simmer this for an hour then mash the fruit and leave to cool a little.
Once cooled a little, pour the mixture into
a jelly bag and suspend over a glass bowl and leave to drain (ideally
overnight) until all the liquid has been released.
Measure the juice and add 450g sugar for
every 600ml of liquid. Heat the mixture and stir over a low heat until the
sugar has dissolved.
Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the
heat and boil for 10-15 minutes or until the jelly hits its setting point.
Remove from heat and skim off any scum that
may be on top of the jelly.
Pour the jelly into warmed, sterilized jars
and seal. Once they are cooled, store in a cool dark place until required.