Remember, remember, the fifth of November. Gunpowder, treason and plot…
Many of us will remember these lines from school history lessons when we were taught about Guy Fawkes‘ audacious plan to blow up parliament back in 1605. The Gunpowder Plot or the Jesuit Treason was a failed assassination attempt against King James I by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby.
The plan was to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament as a prelude to a popular revolt in the Midlands during which James’s nine-year-old daughter Elizabeth was to be installed as the Catholic head of state. The plot was thwarted and November 5 was commemorated for many years afterwards by the ringing of church bells and of course Bonfire Night celebrations as we know them today.
With news of the latest nationwide lockdown being announced in the UK from this Thursday due to the pandemic, plans for mass gathering Bonfire Night celebrations on 5 November will have been cancelled for all of us this year. But we can still have a special celebration with our families and ‘bubbles’ at home.
Bonfire Night is a good excuse to indulge in warming mugs of soup, sweet homemade treats such as gingerbread, flapjacks and toffee apples and spicy alcoholic concoctions such as mulled wine or cider. If you can’t get hold of sparklers or fireworks this year, why not light up the garden with some LED lights placed in jam jars and hang them from trees or fences. Light the fire pit, put on some music, dress up warmly in gloves and scarves, and you have some ready-made fun of your own!
We are sharing two delicious vegan recipes for your home-grown Bonfire Night. A warming spiced tomato and root vegetable soup and a mulled cider which you can also be made with apple juice for the younger members of the family.
Whichever way you celebrate Bonfire Night on November 5 stay warm and stay safe!
SPICED TOMATO & ROOT VEGETABLE SOUP – Serves 4-6
This is a delicious, warming winter soup which has a real depth of flavour and sweetness from the carrots and the honey alternative.
Spiced Tomato & Root Vegetable Soup
1 large red onion
½ golden butternut squash
3 large carrots
1 tsp ground coriander
1tsp ground cumin
1 pinch of chilli flakes
1-2 tbs olive or sunflower oil
1 tin of plum tomatoes
750ml vegetable stock (we used Bouillon)
1 tbs Vegan Green Bee Honey Alternative
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
Roughly chop the onion. Peel and cut up the squash and carrots into small chunks.
Put all the vegetables into a roasting tin, drizzle over the oil and sprinkle over the spices. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Give everything a good stir.
Place in the oven and roast for around 45 mins until tender.
Tip everything into a large saucepan and puree the vegetables with a stick blender.
Add the tin of tomatoes and the stock and blend again. Check the seasoning
Stir in a tablespoon of Vegan Green Bee Honey Alternative.
Serve in mugs with hunks of crusty bread to dip in!
MULLED CIDER – Recipe by BBC Good Food
This has an extra warming kick of alcohol with the addition of apple brandy, also known as Calvados. You could omit this if you prefer. If you are making this to serve to children also omit the dry cider, use 2L of apple juice and dial down the dark brown sugar to 50g.
1.5l of dry cider
7 tbs Calvados (optional)
400ml apple juice
75g dark brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange – pared into thin strips
4 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks – broken in half
1 tbs allspice berries
1 eating apple – cored and thinly sliced
Pour the cider, Calvados, apple juice, sugar into a large saucepan and gently heat to mull.
Add the orange zest and spices, bring to a simmer then turn down and keep on a low heat for 20-30 mins.
Ladle into glass mugs and top with some sliced apple.