Long time no write, I know. Life has been pretty busy these last few months. What with a fantastic summer hols and a typically frantic return to school, I have been struggling to find the time to put pen to paper, or rather finger to keyboard. And since the hedonistic husband and I managed to pile on quite a few pounds during our Spanish sojourn and assorted festival antics, we have been fasting twice a week in a bid to shed the extra weight before Christmas!
But I am not going to even think about anything Christmassy until at least the end of November, as we have a fantastic autumn to enjoy first. Possibly my favourite season, autumn is both beautiful and bounteous and since I have been walking the pooch an extra mile a day to assist in the weight loss project, I have really felt the subtle shifts in climate and enjoyed the stunning display of beauty that is being laid on by good old Mother Nature at present. She’s also providing a rich supply of free food and medicinal goodies, which I can’t resist gathering,
Today, the temperature was on the low side and so I decided to hike up a particularly steep hill to pump up the internal heat generator. My chosen route had the added advantage of taking me through a grove of Sweet Chestnut trees and so as the dog slowly picked his way through a carpet of spikey husks (he has many positive attributes but a high pain threshold is not among them) I got on with harvesting the plump, shiny chestnuts.
I was already fantasising about a lovely hearty soup for lunch as I foraged for my chestnut haul and when I came home, had a look for some recipes and this dish is the result. It was so delicious that tomorrow I’m walking the same way and will make sure to take a big bag to collect more: I only had a poo bag on me this morning (unused I hasten to add!). Poor Noddy will just have to man up and run the prickly gauntlet once more.
Just in case you were wondering….chestnuts are a superb diabetic food! With a much higher water content than most other nuts, they have a considerably lower calorific and fat value, but are still rich in mono-unsaturated fats which boost our good HDL cholesterol levels and lower the bad LDLs. They are a great source of complex carbs, supplying a steady energy release and prolonged satiation, and are rich in fibre. They are also teeming with many heart protecting antioxidants such as vitamin C and magnesium, and provide a good hit of iron. So it was a good job that my veggie teens thought it delicious. And if you haven’t got access to a plentiful supply of the wild variety, at this time of year fresh chestnuts are easy to find in supermarkets and they come in tins (ready peeled) all year round.
- 1 large onion diced
- 6 sage leaves chopped
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 400 grammes chestnuts cooked and peeled
- 100 ml creme fraiche
- If you are using raw chestnuts, boil them and leave to cool before skinning.
- Cook the diced onion in a pan, coated with a few squirts of Frylight, over a low heat for 15 minutes or so. Once softened add the garlic and sage and stir for a minute.
- Pour in the freshly made stock and add the chestnuts. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
- Blend, check and adjust seasoning finally adding the creme fraiche.