September Editor's Picks
30 August 2019
A chill in the air, the end of the holidays and unpredictable weather: September has arrived. Whether you’re hoping for an Indian summer or can’t wait for the leaves to turn, this in-between month has much to offer in its own right. A new season is the perfect excuse to refresh your wardrobe, so be sure to enjoy the crisp mornings in style. Autumn has never looked so good.
The Tour of Britain
7th- 14th September
The world-class cycling tournament is back, with seven days of nail-biting, head-to-head excitement. With the route stretching from Glasgow to Warwickshire, there are plenty of opportunities to catch the elite athletes as they whiz through one of your local towns. Prefer to make a weekend of it? There’s a plethora of idyllic country villages along the race path, but we’re partial to Pershore, where you can cheer your favourite team through their final stretch from the picturesque backdrop of the Cotswolds.
BBC Proms in the Park
The culmination of the spectacular two-month classical music festival, Proms in the Park is an unmissable event for any concert enthusiast. Hyde Park will be transformed for the UK’s largest open-air classical music event, with a stunning display of sing-along sessions, fireworks and live performances from the likes of Barry Manilow, Jack Savoretti and Gabrielle. Want to truly make it a night to remember? Opt for a gourmet picnic brimming with award-winning artisan treats to enjoy while you listen into the 60-piece BBC Concert Orchestra.
Newquay Fish Festival
13th – 15th September
Think you know your scallop from your swordfish? Brush up on your seafood knowledge and nibble on the freshest catch the Cornish coast has to offer at Newquay’s annual fish festival. A celebration of local cuisine, the historic harbour will play host to top chefs serving up live cooking demonstrations as well as an all-day fish barbeque. Need to keep the littles entertained while you chow down? With sandcastle competitions and the chance to spot Newquay’s Harbour seals amongst the waves, there’s something for everyone at this vibrant event.
Elly Pear’s Spinach, Squash and Sweet Potato Dhal Soup
Ah, soup… how we’ve missed you. Endlessly comforting and packed full of goodness, as the weather cools swap out your lunchtime salads in favour of Elly Pear’s delicious spinach, squash and sweet potato soup, taken from her cookbook Green. Adapted from a punchy, flavourful dhal, this soup scores highly in our books for both nutrition and taste. There’s nothing we’d rather tuck into on a cool Autumn day.
4 tbsp oil (vegetable, sunflower, olive or coconut)
2 medium onions, peeled and finely diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and grated or finely chopped
5cm piece of fresh root ginger (approx. 30g), peeled and grated or finely chopped
2 tbsp garam masala
1–2 tsp chilli flakes, to taste
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp black mustard seeds
500g red lentils, rinsed well
1 small bunch of fresh coriander, leaves and stalks separated
1 tbsp nigella seeds
600g diced sweet potato and butternut squash (total prepared weight, widely available already mixed)
4 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
1.5 litres boiling water
1 x 400g tin of coconut milk
250g baby leaf spinach
Flaked sea salt and freshly ground
Juice of ½ lemon
As a soup….
1 portion of Spinach, Squash and Sweet Potato Dhal defrosted if frozen
500ml boiling water
1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
1 tbsp tahini, thinned with a splash
1 handful of Perfect Garlic Baked Croutons
1 small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1 handful of toasted pumpkin seeds
Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium–low heat. Add the onions, garlic and ginger with a big pinch of sea salt. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring, until the onion has softened. Add the garam masala, chilli flakes, turmeric and mustard seeds, stir thoroughly and then add the lentils. Finely chop the coriander stalks and add to the pan with the nigella seeds and diced sweet potato and squash. Give everything a good mix.
Dissolve the bouillon powder in 1.5 litres of boiling water. Pour this hot stock into the pan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently and deeply so the lentils don’t stick to the base of the pan. The lentils and squash should be tender and retain no bite. Add the coconut milk and spinach, then stir well. After 2 minutes, remove from the heat and season to taste.
Most stews, curries and chillis can be easily transformed into soup by the addition of water and a little bouillon powder, if it needs it, and the use of a stick blender. Making a soup from the base dhal will stretch out what you’ve got and provide extra portions. I always like to top soup with various textural garnishes, so here I’ve used my Perfect Garlic Baked Croutons to add crunch and, to keep it vegan, the creaminess comes from a drizzle of tahini. Yoghurt works really well here, too.
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