eat | pumpkin pepper soup in 20 minutes

pumpkin and red pepper soup

I really love soup! So now that it is getting colder I am pulling out all the soup inspiration. I like to experiment with new recipes and almost every week try some new combination or dish.

As it is pumpkin season around here (as you can tell by our visit to the festa della zucca) and I had bought the world’s butternut last weekend I thought a rich butternut soup would be good. I wanted something slightly different but also quick as I decided to make the soup in the morning before work (the crazy ideas I have at 6am) so I would have some warming soup for lunch. I stared into our fridge for a few minutes and then pulled out the jar of grilled peppers sitting in there. Perfect.

Honestly the 20 minutes doesn’t include the cutting up of the butternut which can be a bit time-consuming wrestling with the pumpkin seeds but that aside it really is a quick one. Obviously if you wanted to prepare the peppers from fresh it would be a bit longer too but sometimes you just want the easy option in life.

Plus pumpkin is really healthy for you apparently so you could have this a lot while it is around for the season!

Another bonus is that it is a pretty hearty soup so you don’t really need to have bread with it. Unless you really want to in which case don’t let me stop you!


  • half a giant butternut or 1 medium sized butternut
  • jar of grilled peppers (probably totalled 3 peppers)
  • can of cannelini beans
  • red onion, chopped
  • stock cube or two
  • seasoning: paprika, nutmeg, salt


  • fry the onion gently for a few minutes
  • add the cubed butternut and stir for a few times before adding stock
  • lightly boil until butternut cooked
  • add red peppers (chopped) and beans. allow to heat through and then blend with a handblender

Makes: 4+ big bowls

hello autumn

autumn fig Sorry folks, it is happening. Autumn is coming. This weekend was proof. I sat at home under the covers half the time and have started to move to ‘home activities’. I am trying to appreciate the season while I am here. After eight years I have really loved how London has markers for the seasons and you definitely experience four (sometimes in one day!).  In Cape Town it was more summer and winter with a bit of mid-season in between.  I am not sure which way Trieste will lean. It is an exciting prospect to discover the ways of a new place.

Anyway, I would love to make a list of all the things I would do in autumn. Fruit picking, crunching bright orange leaves underfoot while walking through some wooded piece of England, get some pumpkin carving in. With moving I am not sure what I will be able to squeeze in but I will be sure to pause and appreciate this beautiful season. Eat some delicious seasonal figs. Visit a cosy pub or two perhaps and have some cider and good ol’ pub food. Cooking some lovely warming meals for friends in London while I have the chance.

What is your favourite Autumn activity?

feeling yellow

Last week flew by in a swirl of activity and today the Mr and I went for a walk on Wimbledon Common which was lovely with all the blue skies and crunchy leavess

I wore my chunky cowl that I made a few weeks ago but haven’t got around to sharing because I didn’t have a picture.  That said the picture you are getting is me holding sticks in one hand and mobile in the other.  Not exactly your standard fashion blogger pose.  I did try to get the Mr to take some ‘normal’ pictures of me but his posey-fake camera dude persona that he takes on means that I am always pulling annoyed faces.  Aren’t I glad I am not a fashion blogger!

I’ve been wanting a yellow scarf since last winter and finally got around to making myself a super-chunky cowl.  Handily, one of my local charity shops had some chunky cygnet wool in barley which is a warm mustardy colour.  I basically just double crocheted in a joined up circle – the join up perhaps not being the neatest but certainly good enough for me.

It will definitely add a nice bit of colour into London’s grey winter and keep me snuggly warm.

Also if you haven’t come across it Allison Lehman (from Be Up & Doing) is having a photo challenge month in November.  The first week is done but you can get involved for the rest of the weeks.  It is the same ‘prompt’ every week and fairly open with “capturing life” so something I felt I could get involved with even if I am running around like a headless chicken at the moment.  I am looking forward to seeing other’s submissions.

happy weekend

I hope you all had a good week.  Mine was packed full with all bits of my life: my day job is still pretty busy, photo workshop, heading down to Uni to see my dissertation supervisor, meeting up with lovely blog people and meeting other contributors to 91 Magazine.  I now want to have a cool, vintage, decorated caravan in my living room.  The only thing I didn’t fit in was actually seeing my boyfriend who I live with!  On Sunday though we are heading south to spend a night in Hastings which I am looking forward to.

This weekend is finally a chance to relax (at least a little bit).

Have a lovely weekend!  Wrap up warm because it suddenly got cold out there.

autumn to do

I loved the mini-challenge that my summer to do list provided and how it served to encourage me to enjoy the season.  Originally coming from a country that had two seasons I really enjoy spring and autumn.  Last year, especially, I really started noticing the beautiful colours and I’m looking forward to the crisper days and the chance to get back to some crafting (which seems more appropriately done at the time of year when you are supposed to be snuggled up inside).  So here are the things I am getting up to:

  1. trip to the seaside, a bit more blustery and chilly maybe but walks along the beachfront in a jacket is still appealing to me
  2. bake a loaf of bread
  3. visit our local farmer’s market
  4. make a yellow or orange snood
  5. crochet a blanket for the lounge (I’m very ambitiously thinking something like this blanket, though on a smaller scale)
  6. make some Halloween inspired treats
  7. go apple picking
  8. get a pasta maker and make my own pasta
  9. make a pie
  10. use my film camera! (I keep forgetting to take pictures with it because film seems so precious)


Basically it is a combination of food and craft!

I’d love to know what you have planned.  Leave a link if you have posted some ideas on your own blog.

autumn eating

Downside of Autumn?  Lack of evening light for food blogging pictures which makes it look like my plate of food is in some black hole.  Upside?  Yummy autumn food.

Joy the Baker inspired me again with a post on fall food.  The caramelised mushroom and dumpling dish taking my fancy for last night’s dinner.  I made a few changes with what I had on hand but it was still really delicious so I imagine if I had a bit more patience in the evening the full on cooking process might have led to some even better flavours. For the biscuits I added some cheese because, well, I like cheese but I think this could easily be vegan if you left that out and used some sort of egg replacement.

I’m looking forward to some left over biscuits with my soup at lunch today (always a good idea to make more, don’t you think?)



  • 2½ cups spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • grated wensleydale (about a third of a block)
  • about 4 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • ¾ cup oat milk
  • small cap of white wine vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • salt, generous grating of pepper and dried Italian herbs


Stew like bit

  • 1 punnet mushrooms
  • 1 small packet porcini mushrooms (soaked)
  • 1 small butternut
  • generous helping of peas
  • 1 cup stock
  • ½ cup red wine
  • seasoning




  1. combine flour, seasoning, cheese and combine with butter/marg until flaky
  2. in a separate bowl combine oat milk, vinegar and egg
  3. pour milk mixture into flour mixture and combine until a dough forms
  4. need on floured surface and roll out to about 1.5 cm thick
  5. use a cookie cutter (or glass) to cut out biscuits
  6. place on baking tray in fridge until finished with the mushroom mix


Stew bit

  1. Melt marg in butter and add chopped mushrooms.  Leave for four minutes until one side is caramelised.  Put into casserole dish
  2. Fry onion until translucent and add chopped butternut
  3. Add 1 cup stock and reduce
  4. Add soaked and drained porcini mushrooms to the casserole dish and onion/butternut mix
  5. Add peas, wine and seasoning to casserole dish
  6. Place biscuits on top
  7. Cook in preheated oven at 180ºC for 20 – 25 minutes


Note to self: taking picture with only one biscuit looks much prettier in pictures, and less greedy.