Forgotten Vegetables

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
50g mushrooms
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.

 
 

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Hurry… there may still be cake!

Today the 8 à Huit in Daglan have cakes made by our very own “Wonder Woman” (real name Virginie). If I say that they are so delicious that they make your mouth water with delight, you will conjuror up an images of the perfect French cakes.

Here they are on the table in front of Chris, chocolate cake, apple cake or pear cake free to everyone, and you could also have free juice or water if you so wish.
 

Another very happy customer with Virginie.

 
Also today a fire breathing dragon appeared in the village..

To be found on the right of the Place de la Liberté.

“I see fire inside the mountain, I see fire burning the trees”, Ed Sheeran

 
 

“Is this song from the Sound of Music Mummy”?

This is what I overheard from a little girl on the next table to us while we were having lunch at Café De La Fleur yesterday. I wasn’t listening in but it was so easily heard and so funny. The song was Edith Piaf, singing Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regrets). When her mother told her that it wasn’t from the Sound of Music the girl went on to ask if the song was from the Madagascar film, “it sounds Russian to me”, she said. When her mother said no that it was a French song the little girl said “Oh I had better be quiet”, and Mummy said, “Yes do”.

Café de la Fleur, I love the bar outside for the Summer drinkers to enjoy in the sun.

 
On Paul’s second Birthday we had a meal at Cafe De La Fleur, his real Birthday was the day before. So sad they had run out of fish so there was no fish and chips to enjoy, but he loved the succulent steak and the mountain of chips. Shock of all shocks, he could not finish it all.

 
The owners of Café de La Fleur are looking for new owners to adopt two most adorable kittens.

This one just needs a little bit more practice with the magic trick of pulling the table cloth from the table.

Good news from Charlotte (who runs the Café with her husband Robin), they are thinking about having their own float for next years Fête and having a band playing at the Café one night over the Fête weekend, brilliant we will be there.

Le Croquant de Sarlat.

Le Croquant de Sarlat is a dry and crunchy, caramelised sugar ‘biscuit’ like treat, often made with almonds or walnuts. It is mainly made in the South West of France with each pâtisserie having their own, closely guarded variation on the recipe.

It was only a couple of months ago that Paul and I first saw these biscuits at Pâtisserie Massoulier in Sarlat so, feeling the need to assuage a sweet tooth we just had to try them.

Croquant is French for crisp or crunchy, the ‘biscuit’ is often named ‘crunchy Perigord’ and they are delicious.

 
The ‘biscuits’ may be large or small, plain or with nuts.

 
They are something like a brittle, hard and perfect to crumble over ice cream, layered into parfaits, or to eat as they are.

 
More tempting delights at Pâtisserie Massoulier.
33 Rue de la République, 24200 Sarlat-la-Canéda.
 
 
Event:-. The bunting and flags are flying, the Bumper Cars are all set up to go in La Place de La Liberty. Daglan Fête starts on Friday 18th August.

 
 

On Hot Summer Nights

During the months of July and August the villages in the area host their “Marches Nocturnes”, which are a brilliant way of experiencing the local produce and culture of the region. What could be better on hot Summer nights than food, wine, music, dance and most of all excellent company.

During the evening markets tables are set up around a central square or along the main road of the villages and vendors sell everything you need for a good meal, including the excellent wine of the region. There is usually live music or a DJ and dancing well into the evening. Which is what we did in St Cyprien and St Pompon.

Saint Cyprien

Not even a rain shower stopped the revelry in St Cyprien.
 

Sherry and Angus ready for their dinner
 

Brilliant musicians topped the evening.
 

Saint Pompon

Such a delicious choice of food.
 

Wow, we had to try a selection of the scrumptious desserts above.
 

This gentleman danced around the bottles, sang, played an instrument of four harmonica’s, plus castanets.
 

You meet such a lot of interesting people. The couple at the end of our table were on holiday from the North of France. We were telling them about the places of interest in the area, including Daglan of course.
 

Angus and I had to get up and dance YMCA, great fun.
 

Boogie Night for Sherry and I. We had such a good time that we are all going to St Pompon again this Saturday… see you there.

You need to arrive early for a good seat and remember to take your own cutlery.
 
 

Events :-

It is that time of year again, four nights of no sleep but boy do we have fun.