As the temperatures start to cool as we head from summer to autumn (in the northern hemisphere at least), my mind turns to soups and stews as we prepare for cold weather. But do they have traditional autumn foods in other countries? We asked our e-Tutors to share with us their favorite traditional autumn foods.
Although outono, fall, in Brazil isn’t very frio, cold, and folhas, leaves, don’t turn a different color, there is less humidity in the air and the evenings are surely cooler, all of which increases people’s appetites and calls for heartier meals. Um dos pratos preferidos para esta época, one of the favorite dishes for this season is sopa de feijão, beans soup.
Sopa de Feijão (Pinto Bean Soup)
Cook the beans (o feijão) according to the instructions on the package. Let it cool and put three cups of the beans in a blender then strain the mixture and set aside. Chop half an onion (cebola) and two cloves of garlic (alho) and cube two carrots (cenouras). Put a spoonful of olive oil (azeite de oliva) in a pan and sauté the onion, garlic and carrot until soft. Add the reserved liquefied beans and a cup of water or chicken broth (uma xícara de água ou caldo de galinha). Cook for ten minutes then add half a cup of elbow or shell pasta (macarrão para sopas) and cook until the noodles are ready.
One of the famous dishes in Autumn is Stuffed cabbage rolls محشي كرنب (maHshii kurunb). It is simply rolls of cabbage stuffed with rice, chopped parsley, chopped dill, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, and herbs.
Suppen und Eintopf
Autumn is the time for soups. Germans love heavy soups called “Eintopf“, which means “one pot”. It is hearty, it is good and it says “here, here” when it is cold. Not unlike flannel pajamas. Mine is with potatoes, white beans (Americans frequently call them “northern beans”), onions, bacon, German frankfurter sausages (the real thing please) and a good portion of Maggi sauce (actually now available in the US in many stores) Cook for an hour. But honestly, you can throw in anything you like really!
One of the most popular dishes in the Greek cuisine, especially for winter and autumn when it starts to get colder is φασολάδα (fa-so-LA-dha = bean soup). It is a soup made of lima beans, vegetables but mainly carrots, celery, a lot of olive oil, carrots, and tomatoes. In this recipe, we start by putting the lima beans and the carrots in a large pot with water and a lot of olive oil. After the water starts boiling, we lowe the fire down so that the soup can simmer. We add the celer, tomatoes, salt and pepper and leave it to simmer for as long as it takes until the beans are soft.
It is also called, by some, the national food of Greece! Eat hot with lots of bread!
Zuppa di minestrone e pane brutto
A simple and tasty minestrone, ideal to use up stale bread; lighter, quicker and more delicate than the famous “Ribollita” soup. “Ugly” bread, typical of Versilia – a region in Tuscany- is a salted country bread with a crunchy crust.
Cut 1 onion into thin slices. Crush one clove of garlic and brown it slightly in a casserole with 2 tablespoons of olive oil for around 2 minutes. Then remove the garlic, leaving the olive oil in the casserole.
Put the onion in the casserole with the olive oil and brown it on a low flame, then add 4 potatoes, 6 carrots and 4 celery stalks, all chopped into 1-inch pieces.
Let the above ingredients cook on a medium flame for 5 minutes, adding a little salt. Then add 3 zucchini also cut into 1-inch pieces and 3 bunches of broccoli florets cut into pieces.
Continue to cook for another 5 minutes than add a can of Italian crushed tomatoes.
Add 4 cops of boiling water just to cover the ingredients and let the soup simmer for 15 minutes.
Cut the crust off a round loaf of rustic Italian bread, tear it into pieces, and add it to the soup.
Mix everything with a large wooden spoon and continue cooking for 4 minutes.
Add 2 tablespoons of minced parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and serve it with a swirl of olive oil on the top.
松茸 Matsutake mushroom is probably the most precious autumn food in Japan. The mushrooms could get as expensive as black truffles, but they are sought after for their rich spicy aroma which many Japanese people are fond of. In order to enjoy the aroma, matsutake dish cooking is kept simple with minimal ingredients. So the challenge of cooking a matsutake dish is not the cooking itself but getting hold of the mushrooms (because they are expensive)! The aroma of cooked matsutake mushrooms is definitely associated with a happy autumn day for Japanese people.
松茸ご飯 Matsutake gohan
1.5 cup Japanese style rice (such as Nishiki)
2 matsutake mushrooms
5cm x 5cm dried kombu seaweed
1.5tbs soy sauce
pinch of salt
1. soak dried kombu seaweed in water for a few hours to make broth, and remove the kombu sweaweed.
2. Cut matsutake mushrooms into thin slices
3. In rice cooker, mix rice, broth, sliced mushrooms, sake, soy sauce, and salt together.
4. Start the rice cooker.
5. When cooking is done, gently mix rice with a paddle and serve.
There is an old Korean saying that goes “가을 전어 굽는 냄새는 집나간 며느리도 돌아오게 한다.” (The smell of grilling gizzard shad during Autumn season brings a runaway daughter-in-law back home.) “Gizzard shad” is one of the popular fish species in Korea. It tastes especially good during autumn because gizzard shad stores more nutrients for the colder season. You can eat it raw or cooked. Grilled Jeon uh is the most popular way to eat; no need for sauce. It is crispy and nutty as it is!
Some of our seasonal fruits in Spain are oranges and pomegranates. There are also roasted chestnuts in the street (the smell of castañas asadas, yum yum), and chestnuts might also be used in meat dishes (solomillo con castañas, for example). You start seeing roasted sweet potatoes and we use pumpkin in creamy soups or cocidos, meaning stews or vegetable soups. Since it starts getting colder, there are of course more soups with some other seasonal vegetables such as chard (acelgas which I cannot really find here, they are a bit different in Spain) and cabbage. My mum makes makes salads with cauliflower and fried garlic. And as for sweet stuff, we make quince jelly, it goes very well with cheese. People also start making roscos de azúcar, it´s a fried dough covered in sugar, although at home that´s the kid´s version and the adults have it without the sugar and some wine in it.
More about Cocido: Cocido madrileño (Madrilean stew) – The main ingredient of the stew is chickpeas (garbanzos), which is combined with other meats and cooked in the same pot. The dish is consumed in two to three courses. The first serving of the cocido is the broth that results from cooking the chickpeas, potatoes, cabbage and carrots along with pork, pork belly and chorizo. The next round is the chickpeas and vegetables, and following that, the deliciously stewed meat. Although not as popular as paella, cocido is perhaps one of Spain’s national dishes.