Fall is one of my favourite seasons – the weather is getting cooler, and the produce choices are ramping up. Amazing, tasty products are either hitting their peak in your garden or can easily be found in local farmer’s markets. Just visit the Almonte or Carleton Place farmers’ markets to be convinced.
It’s the time of year when you can easily find apples, pears, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and winter squash, to name just a few. They’re the perfect excuse to get cooking on cool nights!
What better way to warm a crisp autumn day than with soups, pot pies, roasts, and casseroles. Here are some recipes, easy to make, and that your friends and family would love. Enjoy!
FRENCH ONION SOUP*
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 medium red or yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp each salt and pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 7 cups vegetable or beef stock
- 1 cup shredded Gruyère or Swiss type cheese
- grated Parmesan cheese
In large soup pot, melt butter, sauté onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Pour in red wine and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture is reduced by half. Add mustard, balsamic vinegar Worcestershire sauce, basil, thyme, salt, pepper and bay leaf; pour in stock. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove bay leaf. Add Gruyère cheese and simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese to serve.
Makes 6 servings.
*based on Ken’s Soup Krazy: What’s for Dinner? Serves Up Great Soups
ROOT VEGETABLE POT PIE*
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
- 2 carrots cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 parsnips, cut into 1-inch chunks
- you could use any other root vegetable
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 tbsp leaves
- ¼ cup olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
- for proteine I usually add some tofu
Preheat the oven to 400F. On a floured work surface, roll the puff pastry to fit a 2 qt. baking dish. Place the pastry on a sheet of parchment paper and chill in the fridge. In the baking dish, toss the carrots, onion, sweet potato, parsnips, and thyme sprigs with the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer and roast until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the flour, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the thyme leaves.
Remove the thyme sprigs from the roasted vegetables, and discard. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the pastry from the fridge and carefully fit on top of the vegetables. Bake until the pastry is golden and puffed and the filling is bubbling, 10-12 minutes. Serve directly from the pan.
*based on Williams-Sonoma, Food Made Fast, One Pot
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 c. whole milk
- 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 c. pumpkin purée
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. pumpkin spice
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter (4 tbsp.)
- 3 tbsp. light brown sugar
- 2 pink lady apples, cut into wedges
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F with a rack set in the middle. Place a 10″ cast iron skillet on the stovetop and heat while you make the batter.
- Make the Dutch Baby: Combine the eggs, flour, milk, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, pumpkin spice, and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth and frothy. Remove the skillet from the oven and add 1 tablespoon butter, swirling to melt it. Pour the batter in immediately (to avoid the butter browning too much) and put the skillet back in the oven. Bake until the pancake is puffy and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Make the Caramelized Apples: Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, then sprinkle the sugar overtop. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re golden brown throughout with darker edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat but keep warm.
Serve the Dutch baby dolloped with whipped cream or ice cream and topped with the apples and any juices left in the pan.