If there’s one thing we know about here in the UK, it’s how to whip up a winter warmer that soothes the soul and thaws us out during the cold, damp weather. Well, it’s almost that time of year to put the salads and summer foods to one side and start preparing hearty meals.
A lot of the winter recipes are driven by the produce that’s widely available at that time of year. Of course, with modern import and storage technologies we can source most fruit and vegetables all year round, but that influence is still seen in the way we eat during the various seasons. For example, during winter, popular vegetables include cabbage, brussels sprouts, squash, potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnips and turnips.
There aren’t many foods that can warm you through like a steaming bowl of soup. The possibilities are almost infinite too! Why not whip up one of the classics, such as tomato, creamy mushroom, vegetable or chicken, or alternatively get creative and test new flavour combinations? We love Irish bacon and cabbage, carrot and ginger (great for the immune system), beetroot and onion or red lentil and coconut!
Ahh stew, soups heartier cousin. Perfect for those moments when you need a bit more substance. There’s no question that beef is often the meat of choice when it comes to a winter warming stew – stroganoff and bourguignon being firm favourites. Mushrooms and root vegetables are also great alternatives for vegetarian and vegan diets. Best cooked slowly throughout the day, the long cooking process lets the rich flavours mix and… well, stew.
If there’s one season for indulging in filling pastries, it’s winter. There are so many tasty options out there as well, no matter if you’re looking for savoury or sweet. Savoury favourites include cheese and onion, steak bake, meat and potato and even sausage and beans. Cater for those with a sweet tooth using Nutella, apple, custard and cinnamon creations. Looking for a show stopper at an upcoming dinner party? Beef Wellington is guaranteed to impress!
There’s very little more satisfying in the food world than a pie that’s filled with delicious ingredients. Fancy something traditional? Meat and potato, chicken and leek and pork are firm customer favourites. For less conventional options, try Moroccan-spiced turkey or lamb shank, pea and mint. Mastering the crust is the hardest part, you want to aim for a lovely golden brown, buttery flake. Absolutely mouthwatering.
Winter holidays are all about food. Pumpkin spiced soup is a great Halloween-themed warmer. Then, of course, there’s Christmas, a day that’s practically devoted to the cream of the crop of winter warmers. Much like our humble roast dinner served all year round, but with all the added extras and sides that make it extra special… everyone loves pigs in blankets, right? You could even treat your customers to Christmas dinner early and create a portable roast in a Yorkshire pudding wrap. If you don’t finish off Christmas feeling full and satisfied, you’re doing it wrong!
What are your favourite winter warmers? Let us know over on Twitter!