Winter salad

On Thursday, Tom and I went to see the legend that is David Gray at a small, intimate gig at The Emmanual Centre in Pimlico. Before the gig we stopped off at one of the pubs on Tom’s list of must-visit drinking establishments. Along with our drinks, we succumbed to their awesome looking burgers.

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I had no regrets, it was delicious, but Friday came and I felt the need for a healthy dinner. And yet, I still wanted a meal that was filling and full of flavour. I decided to make a warming winter salad of spinach leaves, crispy bacon, roasted butternut squash, crumbled feta and toasted pine nuts.

I love this salad and I’m definitely going to be making it again – you get the saltiness of the bacon, the crunch from the pine nuts, the freshness of the spinach leaves and the creaminess of the squash and feta. It also looks wonderful, with the bright rich orange against the deep green of the spinach: wonderfully inviting on a miserable, rainy night.

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Winter Warmer: Pumpkin & Red Pepper Soup

The St Jude Storm is on its way, and while it hasn’t really hit home too badly yet, it’s still windy and wet enough to warrant a lovely bowl of autumny soup. Halloween is coming up so naturally there’s an abundance of pumpkin and squash in the shops and markets, so today I decided to make my favourite soup: roasted pumpkin & red pepper.

20131027-222348.jpgMy friend Carolyn took a great photo of a ridiculous number of pumpkins today, and it really got me in the bonfire night/Halloween/leaf-crunching-under-foot kind of a mood – and pumpkin soup seemed like the perfect Sunday food for that kind of a day.

I roasted the pumpkin with olive oil, salt and pepper and then added to a pot of sweated down shallots and red peppers. I added stock and seasoning and a pinch of chili and simmered until soft. When everything had softened, I blended the veggies and stock until smooth and then stirred in some creme fraiche. This is my favourite soup and it’s so easy to whip up – looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow!

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