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Autumn Delights

The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in and Janine Levy is ready with dishes to keep us cosy

When people ask me 'what do you miss about living in England?' I often have a hard time searching for an answer. To be honest, apart from family and friends, I don't miss that much. But last week, when I had the incredible experience of walking Yam l'Yam, seeing beautiful orange and golden leaves on the ground and shiny acorns that I realized – I miss autumn (no, it's not 'The Fall …. Don't get me started!).

Back in the UK autumn meant long leisurely walks in the countryside, kicking piles of fallen leaves, picking horse chestnuts and seeing beautiful vibrant colours ranging from pale gold through every shade to vibrant red.

This made me think of my favorite autumnal recipes – and although we don't really have that 'autumnal' feel here, you do sense a change in the seasons, especially once the clocks change and the nights draw in.

Here are a sample of my favorite recipes that capture the essence autumn – even if temperatures can sometimes still be reaching 25C.

Autumn Vegetable Soup with Cheesy Garlic Baguette Toasts

Start to finish 30 minutes
Serves 5-6


1 small onion, finely chopped
1 leek, white and green part only, washed and sliced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 cups pumpkin, (or butternut squash), peeled and diced
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary sprigs, finely chopped
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
½ liter vegetable stock
½ liter passata (tomato puree in a jar - not concentrate)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 baguette, sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced in half
100g grated Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon strong mustard
1 teaspoon salt
5 grinds black pepper

Method for the Soup

Heat the olive oil in a soup pan and fry the onion, until soft
Add the leek, potato and pumpkin and saute until soft
Stir in the rosemary
Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil
Add the passata and the chickpeas and gently lower the temperature
and cook for a further 10 minutes
Before serving, chop in the fresh parsley

Method for the Garlic Toasts

For the garlic toasts, put the grill on the highest temperature and toast the bread for a minute on each side.
Rub each slice with the garlic clove.
Mix the cheese with the mustard and pile on top of the rounds.
Grill for a further 2 minutes until bubbling.
Serve with a hearty bowl of the soup.

Barley and Butternut Squash Risotto
Start to finish 60 minutes
Serves 5-6


1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 packet of chestnuts (100g)
200g pearl barley, rinsed
850ml vegetable stock
Parmesan cheese (optional)


Heat the oven to 180C
Place the squash cubes on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and the chili flakes. Roast for 15 minutes, add the chestnuts to the tray. and continue cooking for 20 minutes longer.
In a medium size pan, heat the remaining oil and fry the red onion.
Add the barley and fry for one minute.
Add the vegetable stock, one ladle at a time, waiting until the liquid has been absorbed by the barley before adding the next ladleful. Stir constantly.
Continue to add stock and to stir until the stock has been absorbed.
Stir the baked squash and chestnuts into the risotto.
This can now be served (pareve) or, to make it dairy, add grated Parmesan cheese.
Serve immediately

Spiced Apple and Bourbon Crumble

Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 40 minutes
Serves 6


6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cubed
Juice and zest of 1 large orange
1 shot Bourbon

Crumble Topping Ingredients

140g Quaker oats
25g ground almonds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
75g melted butter or margarine
1 heaped tablespoon honey


Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
In a small pan, melt the butter/margarine with the honey and
add to the dry ingredients. Create a crumble with 2 knives or forks.
Put the cubed apples, orange juice and zest and Bourbon in a large frying and cook for 8-10 minutes or until soft.
Carefully transfer the apples to an oven-proof dish and top with the crumble mixture.

Bake for 35-40 minutes. 



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Sunday, 19 May 2024

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