Chilly Day Recipes
Waking up at 5.30am on a very chilly November morning, I stumbled out of bed, peered through my window and decided to return to bed. But I couldn’t sleep and my mind turned to thinking of chilly day recipes to warm us up on what looked a very grey and grimy day.
Half an hour later, fed up of tossing and turning, I gave up the idea of sleep, so I pulled on my fluffy pink dressing gown, tucked my feet into old Ugg boots and stumbled into my unheated little office. Blackness shone through my window as I turned the computer on, and I shivered.
“Quick,” I thought to myself. “Find some recipes to warm you and me up.”
Feeling suddenly happy because I was really looking forward to thinking about cooking once more, I began to trawl through the internet. And here’s what I found.
OK. Who can deny that this is a perfect chilly day recipe – delicious, comforting and warming with a touch of spice (as subtle as you, yourself, want it to be).
Curried Carrot Soup Recipe
- 150g onions, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
- 500g carrots,peeled and chopped small
- 150g salted butter
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- Large pinch of Madras curry powder
- 300ml chicken stock
- 500ml water
- 1 bouquet garni (or sprigs of parsley stalks, coriander stalks, thyme, bay leaf, celery and leek - all tied together with string)
- Fresh coriander leaves
- Optional: Slices of streaky bacon
- Cook the onion, garlic and carrots gently in a saucepan with a pinch of salt with the butter, without colouring, for 5 minutes. Meanwhile toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan.
- Add the toasted cumin and Madras curry powder to the vegetables and cook for a further 2 minutes, then add the chicken stock, water and bouquet garni.
- Bring to the boil and add a little salt, then reduce to a simmer and leave to cook slowly for 30 minutes.
- Remove the bouquet garni, then transfer the rest to a blender and blend to a fine puree, then pass through a sieve and return it to a clean pan.
- Check the seasoning, adjust to taste if necessary and serve sprinkled with fresh chopped coriander leaves. And as you see in the picture, a slice of crispy bacon, either in one piece or broken into bits would finish it off.
Soup is one of my favourite dishes to make, and in Autumn and Winter, those chilly days of the year, you’ll find me rustling up a big bowl for Erik and myself for lunch. I always make enough for 2 or 3 meals, then freeze the leftovers. Our freezer is often overflowing with a huge variety of soup in tubs – in fact I think we have just finished the last of our Tomato Soup from last year, which is well-timed, because we have about 8 tubs of this year’s Tomato Soup awaiting their turn to be mopped up with ciabatta buns.
Time for another chilly day recipe. As it’s Sunday, it is my turn to cook and I’m really looking forward to putting on my apron and taking over the kitchen. Erik has really come up trumps because, for our Sunday tea and to accompany this fun meal I’ve planned, he has bought us lovely bottle of wine. A Grenacha – a 14% full bodied wine, plum flavoured and lightly spiced – my favourite flavours.
Special Toad in the Hole Recipe
- For the Batter:
- 125g plain flour
- 2 eggs - free range
- 250ml whole milk
- For the Filling:
- 12 sausages (Organic Chipolatas if poss)
- 6 rashers bacon, halved lengthways
- 2 leeks, scored to the centre lengthways and cut into thin ribbons
- 100ml white wine
- 100g frozen peas
- For the gravy:
- 1 leek, scored to the centre lengthways and sliced into ribbons
- 20g butter
- 20g plain flour
- 250ml red wine
- 1tbspn wholegrain mustard
- 2 tspn balsamic vinegar
- 300ml beef stock
- Preheat your oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Wrap the sausages in bacon and bake in a dish for 25 minutes until lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, make a well in the centre of the flour and break in the eggs, then beat together.
- Gradually whisk in the milk, season well and set the batter mixture aside.
- Fry the sliced leeks for the filling with a little oil until soft, then pour in the white wine and allow to reduce completely. Remove from the heat, stir through the frozen peas, season well and set aside.
- Take the sausages out of the oven, turn them over and arrange the leek mixture around the dish, being sure to leave plenty of space for the batter to puff up. Pour the batter over them and bake for about 30-35 minutes.
- To make the Gravy:
- Soften the leeks in a frying pan in butter. Sprinkle in the flour and add the red wine gradually, stirring all the time. Whisk in the mustard, balsamic vinegar and stock, then reduce until thickened. Taste for
- When the Toad in the Hole is golden and has puffed up in places, remove from the oven and cut into pieces to be served with the gravy.
Two chilly day recipes to warm you up, and neither is too difficult to prepare. It’s time for me to do a bit of prep now, for our own Toad in the Hole tonight, and if I can make my dish look almost as good as the one in the picture above, I promise to put a photo on here. Fingers crossed for that one!! The sky is darkening, Winter is really here now, so I hope that Erik has lit our log-burner and our lounge is toasty-warm.
More recipes very soon.