Shorter days and chilly nights call for soups made from root vegetables. While there has been a growing move towards seasonal vegetables in England, the French markets and supermarkets have been much better at presenting their customers with seasonal foods.
As the leaves begin to fall from the trees we have noticed some strangely shaped and oddly coloured vegetables appear on our local market stalls.
To me, some of these root vegetables look like a new variety but no, they have been cultivated for centuries when seasonality was imposed onto people rather than offered as a choice. Then they were forgotten when the move for more exotic vegetables and all year round availability became the norm. As always the French have a wonderful name for these vegetables, légumes oubliés (forgotten vegetables).
At first sight Paul and I were unsure if the purple, sometimes black carrot and the yellow carrots were actually carrots. So we bought some to try from a organic produce seller in St Cyprian market and decided they were delicious.
The purple and yellow carrots taste more peppery, than their classic counterparts, peel them roast them, place them into casseroles or soups the flavour is outstanding.
All ready to make a hearty soup so here is the recipe.
Lentil and Vegetable Soup
Serves about four people
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 medium size carrots, cut and diced
4 sticks celery, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 potato, diced
small turnip cut into small chunks
125g dried green lentils
1 litre of vegetable stock
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onions and cook gently for about five minutes.
Then add all of the other vegetables, stir for about five minutes. Add the lentils, stock and bring to the boil and then simmer for about one and a half hours until the lentils are tender.
Serve as it is with chunks of fresh bread or you could grate a strong cheese over the top, either way delicious.
It freezes well too.
A hearty soup for a Autumn or Winters day.
Local News- Maison Carré Patisserie at Castlenaud will be closed from the 23rd October to the 5th November.