Autumn arrives, and with it a glut of delicious produce from orchard, the allotment and the kitchen garden that needs using up. We have three simple seasonal recipes for you to try from Sarah Raven’s fabulous book, Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook, a kitchen classic which puts vegetables, herbs and fruit at the centre of every meal. Sarah’s recipes celebrate the best that your garden can produce. So head back into the kitchen and enjoy creating these joyful recipes which Sarah has created.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
A lovely rich soup. Serve it warm with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and some just-torn-up basil leaves; or, if it’s a beautiful warm autumn day, serve it cold with a floating ice cube.
4–5 red peppers (about 600g)
600g ripe tomatoes
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves
½ red chilli
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Handful of basil leaves
1.2 litres good chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and black pepper
200g Greek yoghurt, to serve
Preheat a medium (180°C/gas mark 4) oven. Quarter the peppers and deseed them. Halve the tomatoes and roughly chop the onion, garlic and chilli. Put all the vegetables and basil on a roasting tray, mix the vinegar and oil, and pour it over the vegetables, making sure everything is well coated.
Roast them in the preheated medium oven, turning them from time to time, for 45 minutes. Put everything through a mouli or sieve to get rid of the skins. If you pulse it in a food processor the flavour will be less mellow, as it will include that of the skins, but it will still be delicious.
Thin the soup with the stock to the consistency you want and season with salt and freshly milled pepper. Tip into a saucepan and warm for a couple of minutes or put it in the fridge to cool. Before serving, add a dollop of Greek yoghurt.
Chestnut-stuffed Pork Fillet
Stuffing things often feels a step too far, but once you’ve made this, you’ll realise how quick and easy it is to do, and that the chestnut filling makes an ordinary bit of meat into something very delicious.
1 pork fillet
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
150g pancetta or streaky bacon
Several garlic cloves, finely chopped
225g spinach, chopped
Freshly grated nutmeg
Bunch of sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
Salt and black pepper
15 prunes, stoned and roughly chopped
6 full slices of prosciutto for wrapping the fillet
8–10 baby onions or shallots
2 glasses of white wine
1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
Preheat a medium (180°C/gas mark 4) oven. Make a cut along the length of the pork fillet, without cutting it in two, and open it out. Put the pork between 2 sheets of cling film and beat it out until it is at least twice the size.
Chop the onion and sauté it in the olive oil with the pancetta or bacon and garlic for a few minutes until the onion is softened. Add the spinach, nutmeg, sage and enough breadcrumbs to absorb any liquid given off by the spinach. Season and take off the heat.
Stuff the length of the pork fillet with this mixture. Add the prunes and chestnuts, scattered through, and roll it up. Wrap the roll with the prosciutto and tie at intervals with string.
Brown this for a couple of minutes all over in the pan in which the stuffing was made and then put it in a shallow ovenproof dish with the baby onions or shallots – whole if small, cut in half if large – and cover with the white wine.
Roast in the preheated oven for 40 minutes and then remove the meat from the roasting dish and keep it warm. Scrape up the juices from the dish, add the wine (or some stock) and allow to bubble up and reduce a little before adding a little redcurrant jelly and the crème fraîche. You can add more chestnuts at this stage. Pour this sauce over the meat.
Frozen Mocha and Ginger Meringue Cake with Pomegranate Sauce
I love this pudding and it’s very easy to make. Serve it with pomegranates in winter and raspberries in summer. To save time, you can buy the meringues – it doesn’t matter if they are powdery and dry.
2 tablespoons strong instant
coffee powder or granules
1 tablespoon boiling water
750ml double cream
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur, such as Tia Maria or Kahlúa
3 pieces of stem ginger, thinly sliced, plus 1 tablespoon of the ginger syrup
For the meringues:
6 egg whites
180g granulated sugar
180g caster sugar
For the pomegranate sauce:
3 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
275ml pomegranate juice (bought or fresh)
Juice of 1 lime
1 heaped tablespoon arrowroot
Seeds of 2 pomegranates
Preheat the oven to 110°C/gas mark ¼. To make the meringues, whisk the egg whites until very stiff and dry, and slowly add the granulated sugar bit by bit, whisking until the egg white regains its former stiffness. Fold in
the caster sugar with a large metal spoon. Spoon on to greaseproof paper rubbed with a trace of sunflower oil, or ‘Lift-Off’ paper, or a silicone mat, and bake in the preheated oven for about 3 hours until crisp. Remove and break the meringues into pieces.
Mix the instant coffee with the boiling water, then chill it well. Whip the cream to the soft-peak stage and mix in the sugar, Tia Maria or Kahlúa and half the coffee. Fold the mixture with the sliced ginger, ginger syrup and meringue pieces. Spoon the mixture into a deep (8cm) straight-sided round cake tin, 22cm in diameter, or a loaf tin, lined with non-stick paper, and marble the top with the remaining coffee. Freeze for at least 24 hours.
To make the sauce, melt the redcurrant jelly in the pomegranate juice over a low heat until dissolved. Add the lime juice. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat and add the arrowroot (which thickens clear), already mixed with a little cold water. Put back on the heat and simmer gently, while whisking, for a couple of minutes. Then let the sauce cool. When it’s completely cold, add the pomegranate seeds. Serve the cake straight from the freezer, drizzled with the sauce.
Repackaged edition of Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook is out 31st August (Bloomsbury, Hardback, £35). Photography by Jonathan Buckley.