This year is flying by. The summer has come to an end and we’re already a month into autumn. The mornings are getting crisper and evenings becoming colder.
While walking around the Bondi Farmers Markets this weekend it was amazing to see the abundance of local fresh fruit and vegetables. As a chef this excites me, as it means its time to head to the kitchen to create some new healthy seasonal meals to put on Kirsty Lou’s Pantry’s menus.
This is the time of year to make the most of pumpkins, mushrooms, root vegetables and eggplants. Let’s not forget about the availability of nuts either; almonds, walnuts, pistachios, macadamia and even chestnuts, are all great sources of protein, good fats and rich in minerals.
As the days become shorter and the temperature drops, we start to crave rich, warming foods. Hence Kirsty Lou’s Pantry will be introducing some slow cooked casseroles, quinoa risottos and delicious autumnal salads.
One of my favourite vegetables at this time of year is pumpkin. It is one of the most versatile vegetables that is rich in many nutrients including vitamin C, A, potassium, zinc and antioxidants.
It can be roasted, used as a natural sweetener in desserts, and pureed to create a creamy texture in curries or soups.
Here is an easy recipe for a nourishing autumnal soup to warm you on those chilly nights.
Roast pumpkin, carrot and turmeric soup
2 tsp coconut oil and 1 tsp extra
1.5kg pumpkin peel and cut into chunks
2-3 carrot cut into chunks
2tsp ground cumin
1 litre boiled water or homemade broth
1 leek, finely sliced
2 tsp finely grated ginger
2 tsp finely grated fresh turmeric
Himalayan pink salt and pepper to taste
Coriander to serve
1. Preheat oven to 220c. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
2. Toss pumpkin and carrot in oil and ground cumin. Season with salt. Cook for 40-50 mins or until tender
3. Heat extra oil in small frying pan. Add leeks and cook for about 3 mins. Add ginger and turmeric until fragrant.
4. Combine all ingredients and blend until mixture is smooth.
5. Serve soup with a sprinkle of chopped coriander.