When the temperature in autumn drops, comfort food is definitely the order of the day. Here are a couple of easy-to-make, delicious recipes from Riverford to warm your belly this time of year.
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Shallot tarte tatin
- 50g butter
- 500g shallots, peeled
- 120ml good-quality balsamic vinegar
- Small bunch thyme, tied together with string
- 1 x 300g ready-rolled sheet all-butter puff pastry
- Salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed, ovenproof frying pan. The shallots will shrink, so the pan might need to be smaller than you’d imagine. Add the shallots and cook on a medium heat until they start to brown, turning occasionally (about 8 min). Add the vinegar, thyme, 1tsp salt, some pepper and enough water to cover.
Poach the shallots until they are completely soft (about 10 min), adding more water if necessary. Remove the thyme, then bubble the liquid and reduce it until the vinegar becomes syrupy. Remove from the heat and check the seasoning. Cut a circle of pastry a little larger than the pan, then lay it over the shallots and tuck down the sides. Cut a small slit in the centre for a steam vent. Bake for 20-30 min until the pastry is golden. Leave to cool for 5 min, and then invert on to a large flat plate. Cut into wedges and serve.
Kale, spelt and chorizo big soup
- 2tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cooking chorizo sausages, skins removed, crumbled into small pieces
- 1 dried red chilli or a good pinch of chilli flakes, to taste
- 4 tomatoes (peeled if you have time), finely chopped, or 1tbsp tomato purée
- 150g pearled spelt, rinsed and drained
- 1.5 litres chicken or good quality vegetable stock
- 200g curly kale or cavolo nero, leaves stripped from their stalks and chopped
- Salt and black pepper
Heat the oil in a pan over a low heat. Add the onion and fry for 10 min until soft and translucent, stirring now and then to stop it catching. Add the chorizo and fry, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes more.
Stir in the chilli, tomatoes, spelt and stock, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 min. Meanwhile, blanch and squeeze the kale. Add the kale to the pan and cook for a further 15 min or until the spelt is tender. Keep an eye on the liquid and top up if needed. Check the seasoning before serving.
Tip: To skin tomatoes easily, cut a little cross in the base then lower them into a bowl of boiling water. Leave for about 45 seconds until the skins start to furl away at the base, then transfer them to a bowl of cold water and peel off the skins.