Pumpkin Hues

It's that time of year again, the clocks have gone back, nights are drawing in and the rich colours of Autumn are in full swing. The English countryside in all it's seasonal glory inspires us to dress in warm knits, boots and accessories in rich earthy colours to reflect the season. Curtains drawn, candles lit and fireside suppers with our family or friend "bubbles" are something to be enjoyed and savoured.

Beautiful scarves in soft autumnal tones, perfect for lifting any outfit and keeping the chill at bay.

Handbags and boots in rich leathers and warm colours work well with casual denims and oversized knits. 

Delicious, warming recipes using seasonal produce inspire us to shop local, use fresh ingredients and cook well for ourselves and family. 





  • 1 (about 1.5kg) butternut pumpkin, halved
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 thyme sprigs
  • 2 large carrots
  • 4 slices cured and smoked streaky bacon (optional)
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes, plus extra to serve
  • 1 onion (unpeeled)
  • 3 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
  • 500ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tbs creme fraiche, plus extra to serve
  • Micro herbs (optional), to serve


  • 75g very finely grated parmesan, plus extra grated to serve
  • 75g unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes, plus extra to serve
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 3 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • ½ sourdough baguette


  • 1.
    Preheat oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced). Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Drizzle the cut sides of the pumpkin with 1 tbs oil, then place, cut-side down, on prepared tray on top of thyme sprigs.
  • 2.
    Place the carrots and bacon, if using, in the middle of a large piece of foil. Sprinkle over the fennel seeds and chilli flakes. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tbs oil. Add to the baking tray and roast for 30 minutes.
  • 3.
    Remove the vegetable mixture from the oven and add the onion to the tray. Enclose the garlic in foil and add to the baking tray. Roast for a further 30 minutes or until tender.
  • 4.
    Meanwhile, for the croutons, combine the parmesan, butter, fennel seeds, chilli flakes, coriander seeds and thyme in a bowl. Season. Stir to combine. Spread the butter mixture over 1 side of the baguette slices. Place on a lined baking tray. Sprinkle with extra parmesan. Set aside.
  • 5.
    Remove vegetable mixture from the oven and replace with the crouton tray. Roast for 8 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
  • 6.
    To make the soup, strip the thyme leaves from stalk and add to a large saucepan. Scoop out the pumpkin seeds and discard. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh and place in the saucepan with the carrots and bacon, if using. Peel the onion and garlic, and add to the pan. Add any remaining pan juices. Use a stick blender to break down slightly, then add the stock and 1½ cups water. Blend until smooth. Stir in the creme fraiche. Season to taste and cook over medium heat until warmed through.
  • 7.
    Transfer to serving bowls. Top with extra creme fraiche and micro herbs. Season with pepper and sprinkle with extra chilli flakes. Serve with spiced parmesan croutons.
October 29, 2020 — Kat Hodges