cool things .

4 Hearty Recipes to warm up the soul (and have a blast cooking!)

Time to get cosy and start prepping for the fall! And what better way than to try out some new, tasty and super fun recipes to make with friends or family? If you want meals and foods that evoke a warm, fall spirit, then bring out that brown sugar, cinnamon, squash and fresh veggies to make one (or all) of these hearty dishes. We promise to fill your heart with some extra joy.

One of the best things about these recipes is that you can make a few edits or add your own touches and they will still be delicious. We've added enough variety here, so you have entry, main meal ideas and a dessert option to make an entire menu out of it! No rules (just recipes) you can also just make any of these whenever you fancy. Without further ado, let's dig in!

Butternut squash and sweet potato soup by @NigellaLawson

This one is a great starter or an excellent option for a light, heartwarming soup. Plus it's super easy, and it can be done with pre-chopped vegetables (Even Nigella approves). There's no shame in wanting to make your life easier!


· 350 grams diced butternut squash and sweet potato (total weight together)
· 750 ml vegetable stock. Chicken stock works for non-vegetarians too
· ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
· ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
· Pepper
· 4 teaspoons buttermilk


Take the squash, sweet potato, the hot chicken or vegetable stock and both spices and put them all together in a saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add some pepper to taste and puree the soup in a blender. Pour the soup into two bowls and garnish each bowl with swirls from 2 teaspoons of buttermilk.

Sea bass in white butter sauce by Alfredo Martin @mariette_restaurant

Although fall calls for more meat dishes, it's great to have an easy and tasty fish option in the menu. Chef Alfredo usually uses sea bass, but this sauce is also delicious with a hunk of halibut or salmon.


· 2 sea bass filets (approx 120 gr each)
· 3 shallots
· 125 grs. butter (can be salted)
· 1 cup of white wine
· Salt & Pepper
· Paprika chives (Optional)
· One Zucchini or two

Sauce preparation:

Add the chopped shallots and wine in a saucepan and cook in the white wine, bring to a boil and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (approximately 5 minutes).
Remove from heat and remove the shallots.
Then recover the wine reduction and stir in the butter in low heat until the sauce has some consistency, and then if desired, add fresh chives or paprika. Then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Chef Alfredo personally adds a touch of Jerez vinegar, but a bit of lemon juice is also a good option.

Fish preparation:

If you are using thin pieces of sea bass, heat the frying pan until very hot, (but not smoking) with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Lay the fish fillets in the pan, skin-side down for one minute.

Do not flip the fish. Then add butter and turn the heat to low for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave in the pan for 3 more minutes.

If the filet is thicker, it is recommended to transfer the pan into the 375 C heated degree oven without flipping the fish over. From 3 to maximum 5 minutes (depending on the thickness of the sea bass piece).

For the zucchini garnish, he recommends using a slicer to slice the zucchini into a tagliatelle shape. If you don't have one, cut the zucchini in thin slices and cook with olive oil for two or three minutes; not for too long so they're still slightly crispy.

To serve, stir the sauce to recombine, and spoon over the plate; lay the zucchinis over the sauce and place the piece of bass on top.

Stuffed Aubergines by Cristina Oria @cristinaoriachef

This one is hearty and full of yummy veggies. Feel free to make it vegetarian by skipping the meat. It tastes just as good!


· 3 eggplants
· 4 leaves of chives
· 1 carrot
· 250 g minced meat
· Half a red pepper
· Tomato sauce (Cristina uses 150 ml, but you can use as much as like)
· 60 g of flour
· 60g butter
· 700 ml milk
· 1 egg yolk
· Grated cheese
· Salt and pepper

Aubergines and filling:

Cut the aubergines in half, then make square cuts and add olive oil and salt. Put them in the oven at 180 degrees (bottom and top heat) until they are soft.

For the vegetable sauté,. Peel the carrots, cut and remove seeds and the white parts from peppers. Cut the pepper, carrot and chives together (you can use a food processor). Add the garlic finely minced.

Stir fry veggies in a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil.

Take the aubergines out of the oven and remove the inside with a spoon. It should be easy. If it's difficult, it's because it has not been sufficiently cooked. In this case, leave it in the oven for a little longer. Save the skin, as it will be your container for the aubergine filling.

Mix the aubergine with the sauce and add the minced meat. Add minced chives to give it more flavour. Your meat should be minced by the butcher when you purchase it. Cristina doesn't recommend buying the already minced and packaged one as it has a lot of preservatives and additives.

If you have wine, add some and cook until the alcohol evaporates. Then, add the tomato sauce. Homemade is preferable, but you can also use fried tomato or crushed tomato.

Mix everything up and season it to taste.

The bechamel:

For the béchamel, the most important thing is to use the same amount of flour and butter. Mix it well at a very low heat while stirring so it doesn't taste like flour. Take your time, so the flour doesn't 'toast' which will give it a bad taste.

Next, add the milk while stirring. You have to be very fast so that it doesn't get lumpy. My top tip for the bechamel is to add a yolk, mix it well and then a little bit of grated cheese.
Fill up the aubergines skink with the mixture, then a little béchamel and grated cheese.
Finally, put them in the oven to gratin before serving.

Deconstructed Apple Crumble by Alfredo Martin @mariette_restaurant

No fall menu is complete without apples and cinnamon crumbles and crispy textures! Chef Alfredo uses homemade caramel or vanilla ice cream to accompany the dish but you can get away with your favourite one from the store.


· 4 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced to 2 cm thick wedges. Go for yellow or green. It's better if they're crisp and slightly sour
· 2 tbsp brown sugar
· 1 tbsp semi salted butter
· 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
· For the crumble
· 200g plain flour
· 150g brown sugar
· 100g butter
· Rolled oats, cereal or granola (optional)
· 1 cup of vanilla or caramel ice cream to serve (optional)


Melt semi-salted butter in a frying pan over low heat and sauté apples for approx. 5 – 7 min. Add sugar, cinnamon and toss to coat.
Make sure the slices are whole and that you don't overcook the apples.

Mix the flour, butter and sugar, and for added crunch, you can optionally mix in cereal, granola or rolled oats. Mix in a food processor pulse for a few seconds, making sure it doesn't over-process and keeps a breadcrumb texture. You can also mix this by hand. no pongas esto.

Preheat the oven to 350°C. Transfer crumble mix to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for approx. 10 to 15 min or until golden brown. Keep an eye on it!
While you let the crumbles cool, bake the apples for 5 to 10 minutes at 350°C. Don't overcook them so they don't become too soft. We want them to retain a bit of crispness.
In each serving dish lay a bed of crumbles and place 4 apple slices on top and garnish with a tablespoon of ice cream on the side.

Photography credits

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