As temperatures drop and leaves change into the beautiful red and orange colours of fall, it’s clear that summer has officially come to an end. While this might sadden some, autumn brings about the return of pumpkin spice lattes, apple picking, and taking beautiful pictures of Mont Royal’s yellow and orange tones. It also means that the time for cooking heartier meals has arrived. Luckily, the Tribune has compiled a list of dishes that are perfect for a chilly September day.
For colder days—Vegan lentil soup
There is nothing better than a comforting bowl of soup to warm you up. This recipe is perfect for those who want to meal prep for the week, as it yields plenty of leftovers.
For this soup, you will need:
- 200g of dried lentils (soak in water overnight to soften them up)
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2-3 medium-sized carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup butternut squash, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 large can of diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp of curry powder
- 2 tbsp of ground cumin
- A couple of sage leaves
- Optional: A dash of coconut milk (to make it creamy)
- Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Once the oil is simmering, add in the chopped onion and carrots. Cook, stirring often until the onion has softened––about five minutes.
- Add the garlic, cumin, and curry powder, and cook them until fragrant, stirring for about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and let the mixture simmer for a few more minutes.
- Pour in the lentils, squash, water, and sage leaves (optional: add coconut milk). Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Then, partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 30-35 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
- Remove the pot from the heat and taste the broth––add any additional seasoning to your liking.
- Serve while hot and store the leftovers (they will keep well in the fridge for up to four days).
- Optional for the leftovers: If you feel like changing it up a bit, you can also add quinoa or brown rice.
For those with a sweet tooth – Pumpkin bread
Fall is the perfect season for anyone with a passion for pumpkin-spiced desserts. This incredibly moist bread will leave you with no crumbs and will fill your kitchen with the scent of fall.
- 1 ⅓ cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cup of pumpkin puree
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- ½ cup of olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- ⅓ tsp nutmeg
- ⅓ tsp ginger
- a pinch of salt
- 2 medium-sized apples
- ¼ cup of milk
- ½ cup of chopped pecans
- Optional: Chocolate chips––as many as your heart desires
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) while placing your oven rack at a mid-low position. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with either butter or non-stick spray. Set it aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk your dry ingredients––flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt––together until combined.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs and brown sugar until combined. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, oil, and milk.
- Pour these wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Gently fold your chopped apples, chocolate chips, and pecans into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, making sure to loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent the top from getting too brown.
- To check when your bread is done, insert a knife in the center, and if it comes out clean, it means that your bread is ready to devour.
- Allow the bread to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing and slicing.
- Cover and store leftover pumpkin bread at room temperature for 3-4 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
These recipes are adapted from the following sources: Cookie and Kate (Lentil Soup), Sally’s Baking Addiction (Pumpkin bread).