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Recipe for :

Creamed Brussels Sprout and Chestnut Soup

This recipe comes from Sue Brewer who is lucky enough to live in Brittany where she has her own gites to rent - have a look for yourself <click here>

I asked Sue to do her own introduction . . . . .

"Originally from London my better half and I have lived in a little hamlet called Le Millet near Ploeuc sur Lie in France for the past three years. Although life in the Cotes d'Armor region of Brittany is quite idyllic there are some downsides, notably the price and strength of tea bags, unavailability of sliced back bacon (who can live without bacon sarnies) and finally the lack of Indian cuisine.

The first two things we must stock up on during our infrequent visits to England, but curries and bhajis - pas du problem!

I realised that the only way I was ever going to have an 'Indian takeaway' in France was to make it myself. Now this isn't as silly as it sounds; I always make the curries or whatever in large quantities and then freeze them in meal-sized portions. So Saturday night is still takeaway night, either sharing the meal with friends or to eat whilst watching some rubbish on the television - you know the sort of thing that's on TV on a Saturday night.

OK I do bring back the spices from dear old blighty as here in France they are rare and, if found, expensive (except for that awful pale yellow curry powder) but the rest is down to moi."

"I hope that you enjoy this recipe which I created to make use of the bricks that you can buy in France. These are very, very thin pancake-like things, rather similar to filo pastry, and used in North African cuisine. The addition of birds eye chillies makes this a pretty hot starter, but if you like a milder dish you can remove the seeds before finely chopping the chillies".

This was a recipe of the month on Sue's web site so be sure to pay regular visits
<click here>

"Chestnuts or marrons are very popular in France and the countryside is littered with these majestic trees. I have found that the vacuum packed chestnuts available in most stores almost equally as good as the fresh, and it really cuts down on the preparation time. However, if you would like to use fresh slit the chestnuts, boil for 15 minutes, and then peel them".

Ingredients

2 large onions
2 tbsp oil
2 1/2 lb / 1.2 kg brussels sprouts
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 oz / 110g vacuum packed chestnuts (or peeled weight)
4 pts / 2.3 Lt vegetable stock (the Marigold Bouillon is good if you don't have fresh)
salt and pepper
2 - 4 tbsp double cream

Method

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onions and fry until the become transparent but not browned. Add the brussels sprouts and sauté for 2 minutes and then add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
  • Stir in the stock, season and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes, until very soft.
  • Add the chestnuts and simmer for a further 5 minutes, then liquidize in a blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Return to the pan and stir in the cream tasting as you go to see how rich you like it.
  • Warm through when you are ready to serve. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Serves 6

Sue Brewer

If you would like to stay in one of Sue's cottages at Le Millet or learn more about Brittany visit her website - www.french-holiday-cottages.com or send her an email to sue@french-holiday-cottages.com

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