Soupe au Potiron | Cream of Pumpkin Soup

A French Soup so good that your friends will request the recipe

In the days when my kids were growing up, I really was famous for this soup. People would request it if they were coming over for a meal. I would keep copies of the recipe handy for people. We make it still today, and it is still just as good.

I love the way that the colour of this soup mirrors that of the falling autumn leaves at my house.

This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here.

Are you looking for Pumpkin Soups? Try these: Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup, Italian Pumpkin Soup and Pumpkin Soup with Red Peppers.

Or try some other Pumpkin recipes, like Pumpkin Couscous Salad, Caramelised Roast Pumpkin, and Pumpkin Cooked in a Covered BBQ.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006. You might also like our Pumpkin recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Soup recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and here.

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Potatoes Baked with Cumin and Tomatoes

An unashamedly Retro Dish perfect for Modern Times.

Potatoes and Cumin are a great match. This retro baked dish is a great dish for any time of the year, and extremely wonderful in cooler Autumn months and Winter. It layers the potato with black pepper and cumin seed, and tops it with juicy tomatoes, breadcrumbs and parsley. It is a comforting dish, home cooking at its best. Who would not want to come home to a dish like this?

Are you looking for more Potato dishes? Try Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini with Thyme, Potato Subzi, and a Surprise Potato Tartin.

Would you like to try other Gratin recipes? Try Gratineed Sweet Potato, Potato Gratin with Cream and Pomodori Gratinati – Tomatoes Gratineed with Cheese.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – recipes from our previous blog that ran from 1995 – 2005. You might also like our Potato recipes here and our Gratin Recipes. Or you might like to browse Tomato recipes. Check out our easy Mid Autumn recipes.

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Longan and Young Ginger Tea | Dragon Eye Tea

Longan Berries are warming, according to Chinese philosophy. So this tea is great for warming the toes on cold nights, or perfect for when a cold is coming on or you just feel cold. Enjoy this by the bowlful.

Longan are sold fresh and dried. For tea, it is much more convenient to use dried. They are loved by the Chinese and used commonly across China. They are used to flavour many dishes – winter sweets, sweet Chinese soups and congee. Great for snacks on their own if freshly dried, or mix with raisins and other dried fruits, and walnuts and other nuts.

It is easy to find them. Wander the aisles of your local Asian/Chinese shop until you find the dried fruit section. Sometimes you will find them sold in bulk. Choose ones that are soft, like raisins, and avoid the harder dried ones. Store them in a jar in your pantry, keep them in the fridge, or even freeze them to preserve them well.

In China this tea would be called a sweet soup. Serve it with the berries in the tea. You can strain them out if you prefer, but they are lovely left in and munched on as you sip. Longan are very relaxing and good for the memory as well.

Are you after other Teas? Try Fragrant Persian Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea, Cardamom, Coriander and Fennel Herbal Tea (Ayurvedic CCF Tea), and Balinese Ginger and Lemongrass Tea.

Explore all of our Teas, and our Chinese dishes. Or take some time to browse our warming Early Winter dishes.

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Potato Dosa

The range of dosa in South India is infinite, ranging from crispy dosa to soft, handkerchief-like dosa, from plain batters to batters with vegetables, spices and herbs. And each one is so very good.

Dosa is the Indian flatbread, although it is less like bread than perhaps any other country’s flatbread. It is made from a batter, rather than a dough,  that generally includes flour made from rice and lentils, and is cooked on a flat pan. It is often fermented to provide lightness but more and more instant dosas are being made. These are the dosai that can be cooked as soon as the batter is made.

Are you looking for other Dosa recipes? Try Adai – multi lentil dosa, Coconut Dosa, and a beautiful Sweet Dosa.

Perhaps you are looking for potato recipes. Try Potato Subzi, Surprise Tartin, and Potato and Sweet Potato Curry.

Browse our Dosa recipes here, and all of our Indian recipes here. You might be interested in our Indian Essentials articles. Have a look at all of our Potato recipes, and take some time to browse our Early Autumn dishes.

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Cumin and Pepper Baked Potato Wedges

For that little bit of indulgence on a wintery night

A quick snack for evenings when you are craving something a little naughty but not so naughty, and a little spice but not so spicy. This definitely is for you.

These baked potato wedges are flavoured with cumin, black pepper and salt. You can add a little chilli powder if you like. You will love them for a quick  plate of food when you have the munchies.

Are you looking for other potato recipes? Try Tandoori Potatoes – another great snack – or Toasties Stuffed with Potatoes and Peas, or a Grown Up Potato Salad.

Are you after snacks? Try Chickpea Fingers with Tomato Salsa, Deep Fried Bean Curd with Peanut Sauce, and a Gorgonzola Snack.

You might like to browse all of our Snack recipes, and all of our Potato recipes here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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English Creamed Carrots with Spices

A modern take on an English classic.

Everything old is new again. This is definitely a retro English recipe, the sort of recipe that screams of the cold weather and the need for cream to make you feel comforted and warm and nourished. But it is also a lovely recipe that can be modernised to suit today’s palates.

Other Carrot recipes for you to try include: Carrots with Green Peas and Green Coriander, Green Mung and Baked Carrot Salad, and a Spicy Carrot Side Dish.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series, vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006. You might also like all of our Carrot recipes here and here. Or you might like to explore English/British recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and here.

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Kohlrabi Subzi | A Punjabi Recipe

Not often used, Kohlrabi now features in an Indian dish

Kohlrabi is not something that I cook with often, so it was a bit of a luxury to get to make a simple Punjabi Subzi with this beautiful purple-skinned vegetable of winter.

Mustardy and warming from the spices, the dish is simple to cook and does not take a lot of effort. The result is a fabulous side dish for Indian or non-Indian meals.

Kohlrabi is a great vegetable to eat raw or cooked. Salads are great with grated or thinly sliced kohlrabi. You could use it in this Jicama and Green Mango Salad, for example, or in this Radish and Jicama Salad with Coconut Milk.

Are you looking for more Punjabi recipes? Dal Makhani is very popular, of course. Or try Baingan Bharta, a smoky eggplant curry. And also this Green Pea Pilaf.

Check for other Kohlrabi recipes here. Explore Punjabi recipes, or browse our Indian collection. Or take some time and browse our easy Winter recipes here.

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Adzuki Beans with Red or Brown Rice and Shiitake Mushrooms

The goodness of Adzuki Beans teams perfectly with the comfort of Mashed Potatoes and creaminess of Mushroom Sauce

This is a wonderful, yet simple, Adzuki Bean dish flavoured with kombu and Shiitake Mushrooms and textured with red or brown rice. My preferred way of serving this dish is with mushroom sauce and some perfect mashed potatoes.

Somewhere between a kitchari and a congee, the rice and adzuki beans are slow cooked for nearly 2 hours. This is a perfect quiet Sunday Afternoon sort of dish. Slow cooking also helps to preserve the taste and health properties of the kombu which should always be simmered and not boiled.

Are you looking for recipes with Adzuki Beans? Then try Red Rice and Adzuki Bean Congee, Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup with Miso and Parsley, and Adzuki Bean Sundal.

Try other Rice recipes as well – Bean Sprouts Rice, Eggplant Rice, or a Parsi Kitchari.

Thee is more! Explore all of our Adzuki dishes, and all Rice dishes here. Or take some time and browse our easy Late Winter recipes.

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The Perfect Shiitake Mushroom Sauce

Shiitake Mushrooms in a creamy sauce

Who does not like a mushroom sauce? Over toast, with mashed potato, poured over steamed vegetables, it is a winner in any language.

This sauce is made with shiitake mushrooms cooked in a creamy sauce with tamari. The sauce is thickened with kudzu, a Japanese starch used to thicken sauces. It is available in supermarkets, Asian grocers and health shops. It makes the most beautiful, smooth and glossy sauce. But if you can’t find kudzu, use cornflour.

Looking for mushroom recipes? Try Mushroom and Carrot Salad with Mung Sprouts and Ginger Vinaigrette, a Mushroom Curry, and Mushrooms for Toast.

You will find other Mushroom recipes here and here. Or explore our easy Winter dishes here and here.

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Zhug | Zhoug | Skhug | A Coriander-Chilli Paste, Dip and Sauce

A versatile Yemini-Israeli paste made from green coriander (cilantro), green chillies and earthy spices

What to do with the left over coriander (cilantro) leaves and stems at the end of the week – a perpetual problem in a family that uses a lot of green coriander. One solution we have is to make Coriander Paste. Another is to make Zhoug, a Yemeni-Israeli sauce or dip full of spices. Traditionally a perfect accompaniment to pita with falafel, it also serves as a sauce, spread and dip. It can be stirred into soups and stews to spark them up. Zhoug can be fiery hot, depending on your chilli level, and Yemenites believe that eating zhoug daily strengthens the immune system, keeps away illness and strengthens the heart.

Once you have experienced the fragrant spiciness of Zhoug, you will be making this weekly with your left over coriander, or, indeed, buying extra coriander each week, just to make this pesto-like sauce. Actually, Zhoug is a green cousin to Shatta, which is a similar dish, except Shatta uses mild red chillies. Zhoug has also been called Israeli Chilli Paste, a green harissa, a Middle Eastern Gremolata and a hot chermoula.

Are you looking for other coriander recipes? Similar recipes include Coriander Paste, Coriander Pesto, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney.

Or try these: Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander, Coriander and Lemongrass Vichyssoise, Pudla with Green Coriander, or Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Green Coriander.

Read some more about Green Coriander, and also How to Use Leftover Green Coriander.

You might also like other Coriander dishes and other Coriander Pastes. Middle Eastern dishes are here and here. Or enjoy our easy Late Autumn dishes.

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Falafel | Ta’amia | Spicy Middle Eastern Chickpea Patties or Balls

Using cooked or tinned chickpeas, falafels are very easy to make.

Who can resist a good falafel? Wonderful for snacks, meals, in wraps or topping salads, they are wonderfully tasty, textural and healthy. Whip them up using chickpeas you have previously cooked and  frozen, for an easy supper.

Home made falafel are a huge cut above store-bought ones, or even those from some restaurants that must purchase them in bulk and keep them frozen for a long time. One has to wonder why, they are so easy to make, whereas many pre-prepared ones taste like cardboard. Who hasn’t had a wrap or roll with cardboard-tasting falafel stuffed into them for a “vegetarian option” when it would have been more flavoursome to leave them out?

Worry no more, we have your back. These are fantastic. Crispy crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. You can grind the chickpeas coarsely or more finely, which ever is your preference. But they must be ground enough to hold together as fritters.

You might like to also try hummus, which goes well with falafel. Chickpeas make a whole range of dishes. Try Chickpea Fingers, for example (it uses chickpea flour). Or Chickpea “Tabblouleh”Chickpeas can be baked, or made into a spread, or smashed and made into a salad.  They are really healthy – have a look at this article.

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Seasonal Cooking | LATE WINTER – Recipes Not to Be Missed for Warming Winter Living

Late winter brings thoughts of Spring, although the weather is still freezing and we still look for nourishing and warming dishes. The oven is used a lot as it warms the kitchen and the heart.

Celebrating Winter

You can also browse other Late Winter recipes:

If you have difficulty with any links, please let us know. We would love to fix them for you.

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Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander (Cilantro) | Gajar Matar Sabzi

I miss Priti, who lived in Adelaide for a short while. My friend was such a good cook and teacher. She shared wonderful recipes with me including this easy dish.  She needed to shift suddenly, and we lost contact. Miss you Priti. Hope all is well with you.

Priti introduced me to many of the dimensions of Indian cooking, and particularly the use of Coriander leaves. This dish is cooked with chopped green coriander for 30 mins or so. While this may seem unusual outside of India (coriander is normally used fresh, as a garnish), it is akin to using a coriander paste. The resulting flavours are great. Feel free to garnish with some fresh coriander if desired.

She had other Coriander recipes too, like this Coriander Chutney. You might also enjoy making Pudla with Coriander or Coriander Paste.

What about Peas? Try Stuffed Sandwiches with Potatoes and Peas, Savoury Rice and Green Pea Pilaf, and Tawa Peas.

Are you looking for Carrot recipes? Try Carrot and Blueberry Salad, Carrot Thoran, and a Herby Salad with Carrots.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – our vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2005. You might also like our Carrot recipes here and here. And Pea recipes here and here. The Coriander recipes are here and here. Or you might like to browse Indian recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and here.

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A Good Brew – Prunes in Tea with Spices, Mandarin and Lemon

I recently read this characterisation of hot drink imbibers:

Tea drinkers are golden oldies fans. Those who take it from a pot, never from a bag, are classical music snobs. Instant coffee drinkers go for hits from the ’70s and ’80s. Short black aficionados turn into whatever is new and funky. The only people who drink herbal teas are folk singers and old hippies.

That makes me a fan of golden oldies and an old hippie folk singer, yet a lover of the new and funky.

Thank goodness that characterisation is not true today, and along with good espresso coffee, tea has found a rightful place after losing out to coffee for a while. Herbal teas are available in cafes and restaurants, chai is a perfectly acceptable cafe-based low-caffine drink for non-coffee drinkers.

They say tea was discovered in 2737BCE when Chinese Emperor Shen Ning infused dried camellia leaves in water to make a pleasant drink that gave him vigour and focus.

Thank goodness for that. Today we use tea in preparing a dessert or breakfast dish with tea and prunes. You can also browse other breakfast dishes or our deserts here and here. You might also like to check out our tea and chai recipes.

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Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup with Miso and Parsley

Adzuki Beans with Sesame, Tamari and Miso – complimentary flavours for a warming soup

I must admit it. Adzuki beans have not reached the status of being a firm favourite in this household, as the sweetness of the beans can feel a little overwhelming in savoury settings. We had a couple of recipes we stuck to when cooking Adzuki. It was a pity, because we love the name Adzuki, it has such an evocative elegance about it.

That is, until recently. Via Lucy of the most excellent blog, Nourish Me, we discovered the tempering effects of cooking Adzuki with Toasted Sesame Oil, Tamari and Miso, and adding parsley and celery leaves. It makes sense, right? The more Northern Asian flavours to compliment a bean used commonly in Chinese, Korean and Japanese cooking. We also discovered how well Pumpkin goes with Adzuki.

You might like to also try Adzuki Sundal (briefly stirfried with coconut) or Red Rice with Adzuki Bean Congee.

Or are you looking for Barley dishes? Try Parsley and Barley Salad with Spiced Marinated Feta and Italian Farmhouse Barley and Vegetable Soup.

You might like to browse our other Adzuki recipes, all our Barley recipes, other Pumpkin Recipes here, and our Soup recipes here. We hope you enjoy! Or simply spend some time exploring our Mid Autumn dishes.

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