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We are all thoroughly enjoying this gloriously long, hot summer but is anyone else starting to combine it with wintry roasts and braises? I have been tucking in to them over the last couple of weeks and I have already made my first pot of soup - pumpkin - because I do seem to have a few sitting around at the moment. If you fancy, here is my easy pumpkin soup recipe.

Oven-baked venison meatballs. Photo / Bite magazine
Oven-baked venison meatballs. Photo / Bite magazine

We're moving from burger patties on the barbecue to oven-baked meatballs and even the sausages were braised last week. It feels really good to come inside, even when the weather is good enough to be outside all day. It's comforting, and that is where our food is heading this week.


Ray McVinnie's oven bakes and one pots (chicken, fish or vegetarian) served family style from the dishes in which they were cooked will help ease us in to these longer evenings and, even if the sun has gone down, it's still warm enough to head out and walk it off after dinner.

Warren Elwin's mushroom quartet. Photo / Bite magazine
Warren Elwin's mushroom quartet. Photo / Bite magazine

Warren is going dark on dark with his mushroom quartet and we have another pumpkin soup. This Isaan chicken, dill and pumpkin is light, fragrant broth is perfect for the summer-winter transition, and it's also full of pumpkin whose seeds are full of zinc, something we New Zealanders are curiously deficient in, read more here.

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Isaan chicken, dill and pumpkin soup. Photo / Bite magazine
Isaan chicken, dill and pumpkin soup. Photo / Bite magazine