Early warming system: Skye Gyngell reveals her favourite recipes for cold winter days

What better way to prepare for the cold months ahead than by settling down to a hearty meal? This week and next, Skye Gyngell presents her favourite winter warmers

As the nights draw in and the cold starts to chill the bones, what could be better than a warming, hearty dinner? Today and next Sunday, I'll be giving you recipes to prepare two delicious dinners that will fill your stomach and leave you blissfully content.

I've started this week's meal with a soup that is wonderfully elegant, but also has beautifully earthy base notes – and you can tell from its taste that it's good for you. Although it takes a bit of time to prepare, the beef becomes total comfort food when cooked gently, soft enough to eat with a spoon; and while the raspberry and orange pudding is light and delicate, it gives a delightfully cosy feeling inside.

Skye Gyngell is head chef at Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, Richmond, Surrey, tel: 020 8605 3526, petershamnurseries.com

Potato, porcini and rosemary soup

Serves 4

180g/6oz dried porcini
300ml/1/2 pint warm water
120ml/4fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
6 sprigs rosemary, leaves only
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 small dried red chilli
1kg/2lb Roseval potatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
60g/21/2oz Parmesan, grated
The juice of half a lemon
A bunch of curly parsley, leaves only, very finely chopped

Place the porcini in a bowl. Pour over the warm water and leave for 10 minutes to allow the porcini to soften and the water to become infused with their lovely, musty flavour.

Place a large heavy-based pan over a low heat, add a tablespoon of the oil and, when just warm, add the shallots. Cook over a low heat for five minutes to soften.

Chop the rosemary finely and add to the shallots along with the garlic. Crumble over the chilli and stir well to combine.

Slice the potatoes into quarter-inch rounds (do not bother to peel, as the skin is delicious). Strain the porcini, reserving the infused water. Chop fairly roughly and add to the pan with the potatoes.

Add the rest of the olive oil, a good pinch of sea salt and a little freshly ground black pepper, stir to coat and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then.

Pour in the reserved water and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender and beginning to fall apart. Add the Parmesan and the lemon juice. Sprinkle over the chopped parsley, taste one final time and add what you feel is necessary – perhaps a little more pepper and a pinch or two of salt. Ladle into warm bowls and serve.

Slow-cooked beef with pancetta and cavolo nero

Serves 4

6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1kg/2lb boneless rib of beef, cut into chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Spanish onions, peeled and sliced
3 sticks of celery, cut into fine slices
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
4 slices of pancetta, cut into cubes
4 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole
3 bay leaves, preferably fresh
4 sprigs of rosemary
4 tomatoes, roughly chopped, deseeded
A bottle of Barolo or similar hearty red wine
1 bunch of cavolo nero, washed
3tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
80g/3oz Parmesan, freshly grated
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish. Season the meat generously and brown in batches. As each batch becomes golden-brown, remove and keep warm as you brown the rest. Don't overcowd the dish. Pour out the excess oil and add the onions, celery, carrots and pancetta and cook over a low heat until the vegetables are light-brown and soft. Add the garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, tomatoes and wine and bring to the boil.

Return the meat to the dish and turn the heat to very low. Place a lid on and cook for two-and-a-half hours. Transfer the meat to a serving dish, turn up the heat to high and reduce the sauce by a third, and season.

To prepare the cavolo nero (Tuscan cabbage), blanch for five minutes, and add the olive oil, Parmesan and garlic while still warm. Toss through and serve with the slow-cooked beef.

Raspberry and orange pudding

Served warm with a dollop of cream, this is the perfect end to a meal in cold weather.

Serves 4

100g/31/oz unsalted butter, softened, plus a little extra for buttering the moulds
100g/31/2oz caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthwise, seeds scraped out
2 whole eggs
100g/31/2oz self-raising flour
Finely grated zest of a lemon and an orange
A small pinch of salt
16 plump raspberries
4 tbsp golden syrup
Jersey cream to serve
4 tbsp finely chopped candied orange to serve (optional)

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Butter four darioles (pudding-shaped moulds) and set aside. Mix the butter and sugar together until it forms a pale, smooth cream. Add the seeds from the vanilla pod, followed by one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift in the flour and fold in gently. Finally, add the lemon and orange zest and a small pinch of salt.

Divide the raspberries among the moulds, placing four in each. Spoon the golden syrup on top, allowing about one tablespoon per mould. Spoon over the sponge mixture and cover each mould loosely with some buttered foil. Place on a baking tray and cook in the hot oven for 30 minutes, until they have risen and are cooked through.

To serve, run a knife around each pudding and turn out on to warmed plates. Finish by adding a dollop of cream and, if using, a spoonful of chopped candied orange. Eat while piping hot.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Travel
travelWhy Japan's love hotels are thriving through an economic downturn
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
Alexander McQueen A/W 2014
fashionPolitics aside, tartan is on-trend again this season
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Sport
Joel jumps over the board...and into a giant hole
footballFrom joy to despair in a matter of seconds
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week