Somthing happened the other day that is the stuff of poems – lyrically waxed in ode and sonnet.
I shall however state it simply – THE CHESTNUT TREES ARE GREEN AGAIN!!
Being deciduous, the sweet chestnut trees that fill the valley and after whom Los Castaños is named, shed their leaves every November after a brief but spectacular gold and orange display. All winter they sleep and then, just when your back is turned, they sprout their new foliage. It’s a bit like Eddie Izzard’s pears that remain hard and inedible while you watch but then, as soon as you leave the room, they ripen all at once.
As I gazed out on my new surroundings, I saw soup – rich green with a spoonful of yogurt!
I made a simply delicious combination of leeks and courgettes, sweated in butter for fifteen minutes, simmered in stock till tender, then whizzed into a puree. That is literally all there was to it and the result was lovely. Pureed soups can be boring for the teeth but, with herby croutons, snippets of fried bacon and thin slices of sauteed leek, parsley sprinkles and a dollop of yogurt forming the village in the centre of the soup of trees, there is plenty to tantalise even the most weary of palates. And the final ingredient that really should be kept a secret but hell! life is too short for secrets, is the slices of Brie at the bottom of the bowl which lend a marvellous contrasting texture and taste to the dish.
Divine. Tasty, nutritious, satisfyingly green for a verdant Spring day.
Do you celebrate the return of green to the landscape with a special dish?