Creamy cauliflower, cumin and lardon soup

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Yes, I know. ANOTHER soup! But it’s the season, and soups are one of my favorite (and economically advantageous) ways to warm up and enjoy something home-cooked in the winter months. It was especially cold here in France over the last couple of weeks when the weather brought us our first snow of the year that actually stuck, so soup was definitely on the menu (potato, leek and fried almond, turnip leek and sweet potato, roasted carrot and parsnip with coconut milk, etc., etc.). This is a fabulously basic soup. It’s hearty, filling and satisfying. You can eat it as thick or as thin as you like but I promise it’ll fill you up. I’m not sure what it is about this soup. I never regarded cauliflower as extremely filling but this is one hearty soup. It’s also very simple and something about respecting the cooking times and different steps takes it to another level, and I don’t recommend skimping. Continue reading

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Creamy turnip, leek and sweet potato soup

This soup was awesome, and I honestly didn’t expect it to be. It was once of those cold winter days when I asked myself what I should make for lunch, and realized that I had some turnips, leeks and sweet potatoes that weren’t going to last much longer. Making soup was the easiest solution, and so I set myself to it. The result was something incredibly fragrant despite the lack of flavor boosts like bacon, herbs or even many spices. This soup is simple, but it doesn’t taste like it. Continue reading

Roasted carrot and parsnip soup with coconut milk and parsley coulis

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Who doesn’t love a good, warm, nourishing bowl of soup in the early winter months? It’s funny how suddenly my plans in the kitchen change from salads and marinated meats to soups and stews, all in a matter of days. You can just feel the change coming: the air gets cool and crisp, your body is in need of sustenance rather than just eating mostly for pleasure and you know that it’s time to break out your dutch oven and get cooking! Continue reading

Watermelon gazpacho with basil mint syrup

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I don’t need to tell you how much I love gazpacho. I’m pretty sure I took care of that when I wrote about my nectarine gazpacho a few weeks ago. I also mentioned that I’d been wanting to try a watermelon gazpacho after having it in a restaurant in June. The occasion finally presented itself when I found a beautiful watermelon at the market and couldn’t resist. Continue reading

Creamy vegetable potage

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Lately, I am totally obsessed with leftovers. I also thoroughly enjoy spending hours in the kitchen, especially in the winter months when it’s too cold and grey to do much of anything outdoors. I spent most of the last few months concocting simple and highly reheatable winter soups to warm us up in the absence of our new fireplace. I resisted the temptation to make anything fancy, and most often turned to a staple in traditional French cuisine: the potage. Continue reading

Egg drop soup with chicken and ginger

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Ironically, one of the food things I miss the most about living in America is delicious, buffet-style Asian food. It’s something that France, with its high population of Asian citizens, just can’t seem to get a handle on. In France, Asian food can be found on nearly every street corner. Sushi restaurants and Chinese or Vietamian traiteurs are nearly as popular as bakeries. But the quality just isn’t there. The take-away shops make everything in advance and microwave it as they see fit. Crisp spring rolls become soggy, unappetizing. And don’t even get me started on all of the news reports I’ve seen about industrialised production in the city, pointing out the small apartments cramped with people making food in very unsanitary conditions…

I was in the midst of a protein-rich diet-ish week, and running out of ideas. I needed something fresh and new, or else I knew that I wasn’t going to make it more than a few days. I had a culinary epiphany: Egg. Drop. Soup! A savory and spicy soup, incredibly easy to make and chocked full of eggs, chicken, onions, ginger… This was going to be my diet nirvana! Continue reading

Warming up with French onion soup

It’s cold here in Normandy. While over the last few weeks we’ve dealt with bouts of cold it seems as though this time the chill is here to stay. I was in the middle of warming up with a fabulous herbal infusion that I bought in Germany last year (lemongrass, pink peppercorns, ginger and some sort of pretty blue flower) when Jé came home from the grocery store with, among other things, a 1/2 pound bag of yellow onions. I saw Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” out of the corner of my eye and instantly knew I would be making French onion soup that afternoon. Continue reading