If you are really keen on preparing your soup from scratch, then the autumn is the time to buy fresh chestnuts.
Poached Pears is a really classical dessert, but sometimes it's a bit disappointing because the syrup around the pears is a bit watery. What I like to do is add flavour and stickiness with a little bit of sugar, so there is nothing watery about this recipe.
This is a bit of a cheat, not really cooking at all, unless you count boiling the beans and the quail's eggs. Traditionally it is regarded as a lunchtime filler for hungry workers in the fields, probably washed down with a jug of robust local wine.