Tag Archives: cinnamon

Autumn Warmer: Pumpkin, Spinach and Cinnamon Soup

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On a cloudy, grey and crisp day there is nothing better than a big bowl of soup and some nice crusty cheese on toast. So today I decided to make a fall warming lunch with lovely seasonal pumpkin, fresh spinach and a kick of cinnamon.

What you need:

1/2 a pumpkin, big bunch of spinach, 2 small/medium potatoes, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 400ml of vegetable stock, 1tsp of ground cinnamon, 1tsp of Dried Chillies, small knob of fresh ginger, 1/2 tsp of cumin, 1tsp sugar, 1 egg yolk, 1 tp of plain flour, 250ml of creme fraiche, butter.

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Simple to make, chop the onion and garlic and gentle fry with a drop of butter in a large saucepan until golden brown then add all the spices (Cinnamon, Cumin, pinch of pepper and salt, dried chillies, Ginger), Gently mix and simmer on a low heat. The smell is lovely. Set aside for 60mins and let the flavours soak.

Now lets roast the pumpkin. Preheat the oven to 200C. Cut the pumpkin in half and take out the seeds, then cut into 4 slices and score crosses across the flesh, season with salt and two small knobs of butter (10g per slice) and roast in the oven for 1 hour. After an hour take out and cool, then gently with a knife slid the golden pumpkin away from the skin… yum! Take 1/4 of the pumpkin and add to your onion mixture and the set the rest aside.

Now back to the onion and pumpkin pan, add your chopped and peeled potato, roughly chopped spinach and piping hot vegetable stock into the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30mins or for as long as you like to infuse the flavours.

Once the potato is cooked take the mixture to the blender, add the rest of the pumpkin and blend (maybe you should do this in parts (unless you want a new shade of green on your walls). Once blended, I like smooth, to the consistency you like, return to the pan. Now in a separate bowl hand mix together the egg yolk and plain flour to a creamy texture, and add a little water. Now put your creme fraiche into the egg mixture and whisk up until the egg is evenly mixed in. The egg mixture is to make sure the dairy product does not curdle. Now mix in to the soup and simmer on a low heat, add more seasoning to taste.

and… enjoy a nice October warmer! I garnished mine with a spinach lead, cream and pumpkin seeds.

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A Pocket Full of Muffins

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Today in an act of boredom I decided to try out a few muffin recipes. I had some left over bananas kicking around, so I thought I would use them up in a banana and cinnamon mix and another batch of blueberry.

Blueberry muffins spark a memory when I was a child. I was part of the Cubs (junior Scouts). I remember we were going on a camping trip and my mum had made some home baked blueberry muffins to take with me. Unfortunately  my younger brother got hungry and ate them all in the middle of the night… so this time they are all mine lol

The Blueberry

110g self raising flour
110g butter
65g caster sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp baking powder, 200g  blueberries (I used dried, but you can use frozen or fresh), 50ml of milk.

Preheat oven at 200C

First cream the sugar and butter in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, then sieve in the flour and baking powder, mixing it all together with a fork. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the eggs and milk. Mix vigourously with the fork until smooth and creamy, finally add the blueberries spoon into muffin cases and bake for 20-30mins (or golden brown).

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Banana & Cinnamon

75g melted butter , 250g self-raising flour , 1 tsp baking powder , pinch of salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon , 115g golden caster sugar , 1 tsp vanilla extract , 2 large, ripe bananas (I think best when the skins are slightly brown and speckled), 2 eggs, 125ml milk

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This recipe is a bit different to the blueberry. First melt the butter and mix with milk, eggs and vanilla, whisk and then stir in the bananas (mashed up nice and soft). Set this mixture aside and in a separate bowl sieve the flour, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon and lightly mix. Now with the flour mixture make a well in the middle and add the banana bowl. Vigourously stir with a fork until combined. Spoon into cases and bake for 20-25 mins.

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In the end I am really pleased with both of these recipes. I decided to decorate  a few of the tops of the Banana muffins with vanilla icing and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds for a seasonal twist.

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