Soupe aux Carottes Nivernaises | A French Carrot Soup from Nivernais

One more soup for the cold weather in the wintery regions. A French Carrot Soup, Soupe aux Carottes Nivernaises. A very special soup, this one. Warming and buttery, sweet and luxurious, it deserves a place at your winter table.

This soup is a specialty of Nivernais, a former province of France, around the city of Nevers that forms the modern department of Nièvre, which ennobles the carrot in its coat-of-arms! Old recipes have twice the amount of sugar as carrots, but today, this amount is greatly reduced.

Are you looking for similar Carrot Soups? Try these other recipes too: Parsnip and Carrot Soup with Crispy Garlic, Roasted Carrot and Apple Soup, and Carrot and Roasted Tomato Soup.

You can browse all of our other Carrot Soups. Or you might like to browse our Carrot recipes and Soup recipes. French recipes are here. Or check out our easy Late Winter recipes here.

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Aubergines Fourrées | Baked Eggplant Stuffed with Cheese and Tomatoes

You will really enjoy this recipe. Softened eggplants are slit and fanned, and its slices interwoven with cheese, tomatoes and peppers. They are then baked on a bed of the sweetest caramelised onions, and the cheese melts. If, like me, you use mozzarella, it oozes everywhere! Cheesey Eggplants – who can resist?

If you use a cheese that holds its shape during baking it won’t form a bed of oozy cheese but rather stay in the eggplant, but we love this oozing aspect of the dish. It is perfect for Late Autumn.

It’s a French recipe, so I suggest some French wine and a green salad, for a light lunch eaten outside on a gorgeous Autumn day sitting under a gorgeously coloured tree raining leaves. Do enjoy!

Would you like more Eggplant recipes? Try Cheese and Eggplant Torte, Roasted Eggplant with a Garlic Sauce, and Persian Style Eggplant.

Browse all of our Aubergine recipes and all of our French dishes. Our Baked recipes are here. Or enjoy our Late Autumn dishes.

Feel free to browse vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006, in our Retro Recipes series.

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Henri Toulouse-Lautrec’s Slow Cooked Creamy Mushrooms | Champignons a la Creme

Henri Toulouse-Latrec was a fabulous cook, loving to feed friends in great numbers. His style was to use local, cheap produce, wine, and long slow cooking. There is a book of his recipes, and although it is heavy with non-vegetarian items, vegetable dishes and some soups are beautiful, French, flavoursome, vegetarian dishes.

This dish fits that mould, without the wine. It takes mushrooms, slow cooks them in butter, and then adds cream, and slow cooks that to thicken and sweeten it, for a lovely end result.

Are you looking for other Toulouse-Latrec recipes? Try Belgian Endive Cooked in its Own Juice with Butter (Endives au Jus).

Try our Mushroom recipes – Achari Mushrooms, the Perfect Shiitake Mushroom Sauce, Stuffed Mushrooms, and Mushrooms for Toast.

Would you like some other French recipes? Try Mushrooms a la Grecque, Du Puy Lentil Soup, and Slow Cooked Cauliflower.

You might like to browse all of our Mushroom recipes, and all of our French recipes here. Check for more Toulouse-Latrec dishes. Or be inspired by our Early Autumn recipes.

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Champignons Montagnard | Mushroom Savoy | Mushrooms and Tomatoes from Haute-Savoie in France

A rustic mountain dish from France

Perhaps not a pretty dish, there I said it. This is a rustic mountain dish from Haute Savoie, a region of France. It uses vinegar and lemon to add real tang to the mushrooms which are eaten cold – they go well with some excellent bread. In modern times it is great as part of an appetiser plate or part of a mezze/tapas style meal. The vinegar gives it the characteristics of a quick pickle or chutney, and it will pair well with other small dishes.

Are you after Mushroom dishes? Try Mushroom, Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad, Caramelised King Oyster Mushrooms, and Mushroom Curry.

Perhaps you are looking for French recipes. Try French Cream of Pumpkin Soup, French Tomato Salad, and Fennel a la Grecque.

Please browse our Mushroom recipes here and here, and our French recipes here and here. Our Autumn recipes are here and here.

Continue reading “Champignons Montagnard | Mushroom Savoy | Mushrooms and Tomatoes from Haute-Savoie in France”

Soupe au Potiron | Cream of Pumpkin Soup

A French Soup so good that your friends will request the recipe

In the days when my kids were growing up, I really was famous for this soup. People would request it if they were coming over for a meal. I would keep copies of the recipe handy for people. We make it still today, and it is still just as good.

I love the way that the colour of this soup mirrors that of the falling autumn leaves at my house.

This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here.

Are you looking for Pumpkin Soups? Try these: Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup, Italian Pumpkin Soup and Pumpkin Soup with Red Peppers.

Or try some other Pumpkin recipes, like Pumpkin Couscous Salad, Caramelised Roast Pumpkin, and Pumpkin Cooked in a Covered BBQ.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006. You might also like our Pumpkin recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Soup recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and here.

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Belgian Endive (Witlof) Cooked in its Own Juice with Butter | Endives au Jus

This is not a pretty dish. There, I have said it. But the soft, melting buttery endives sure make up for the lower visual appeal.

This is a recipe of Henri Tolouse-Lautrec. Tolouse-Lautrec was quite a foodie, often cooking for large groups of friends. Vegetarian he was not, but he did have a number of vegetable dishes that are worth trying. Instructions are minimal, so approach them with a little trepidation and experimentation.

This recipe cooks Belgium Endives, also called witlof, for up to an hour, or even more. They cook in butter and their own juice. The long, slow cooking softens them to a meltingly fine texture and sweetens them a little, just enough for them to lessen that strong bitter edge. I can’t get enough of them.

Would you like other Belgium Endive dishes? We have some coming, but for now, try Grilled Witlof Salad.

Perhaps some other French dishes to try? Gratin de Pommes de Terre et Courgettes, Courgettes a la Grecque, Perfect French Mashed Potatoes, and Concombres en Salad (Cucumber Salad).

At this time in previous years we were cooking ANZAC Biscuits, Unusual Herbal Teas, Gentle Autumn Vegetables a la Grecque, and a Greek Rice Pudding.

You might like to browse all of our Endive/Witlof recipes, and all of our French recipes here. Or be inspired by our Early Autumn recipes.

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Gratin de Pommes de Terre et Courgettes | Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini with Thyme

Gratin – sometimes written as gratinée or au gratin—is a very flexible recipe where an ingredient is cooked in a shallow dish – a gratin dish which is an  oval-shaped oven-safe baking and serving pan. The Gratin is topped with cheese or buttery breadcrumbs that will crisp up when the dish is baked in a hot oven or placed under a grill. Adding just cream will also produce a lightly browned crust if baked in high heat. Gratins are usually served straight from the dish.

Gratin originated in French cuisine. The best known gratin dishes are Potato Gratin  and Pommes Dauphinoises. Many Tians are gratins too, only in disguise! Also Baked Pasta dishes! Often vegetables are covered with cheese, cream, and/or breadcrumbs and baked or grilled for a beautiful gratin dish.

This recipe is a beautiful, buttery, creamy gratin that combines zucchini with potatoes and flavours it with thyme. A wonderful match.

Are you looking for other Gratin dishes? Try Gratinéed Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes Gratinéed with Tomatoes and Cumin, and  Endive/Witlof with a Cheesy Topping.

Would you like to try other Potato dishes? Try Cumin and Pepper Baked Potato Wedges, Perfect Roast Potatoes, and Surprise Potato Tartin.

Or try some Zucchini recipesZucchini Preserved in Olive Oil, Making Zucchini Juice, Zucchini Rice, Steamed Thai Eggplant and Zucchini, and Zucchini Fry with Spices.

You might also like to browse all of our Gratin dishes here, and all of our Potato recipes here. Or all of the Zucchini recipes here and here. Check out our easy Early Autumn recipes. Also, feel free to browse vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in our Retro Recipes series.

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13 Treasure Happiness Soup | Provencale Vegetable Soup

An Extraordinary Soup

This soup is SO delicious – and makes everyone so happy when they eat it. The name comes from the 13 vegetables in the soup, and that wonderful warm, happiness feeling, but really it is from Provence in France. There it is a summer soup, but the addition here of potatoes, pumpkin and sweet potato gives it that wonderful warmth for winter and early spring, and introduces truly wonderful textural combinations in every mouthful.

My parents believe firmly that vegetables are the path to health, and so a normal meal at their place may consist of many vegetables. The record number of veggies at this time is 12, yes TWELVE, at once on a plate. But with this recipe, I think that I claim the prize. Thirteen in one sitting. Not bad.

Browse all of our Soup recipes here and here. Or explore the French recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Winter recipes here and here.

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Du Puy Lentil Soup | Slow Cooked or Stove Top

Du Puy Lentil Soup recipe with Parmesan Toasts or Middle Eastern Tafoon

There is a a Middle Eastern flatbread, fresh Taftoon – Persian flatbread. It can be found in any Middle Eastern store. A little like Naan, but huge, round and soft, thicker than lavash, yeasted and made from a mix of wholewheat and plant flour. Just right for soups. So to fit in one more soup before the end of winter, and to use up any du Puy lentils left in the cupboard, make a slow cooked Du Puy Lentil Soup.

Those little black disks are great in winter slow cooked soups (but can of course be cooked on the stove top too). Throw some into the slow cooker and then go to the office. Arrive home to wonderful soup and soft taftoon to mop up the juices.

You might also like to browse our other Du Puy Lentil recipes. Our favourite is Du Puy Lentils with Feta and Tomato. Have a look at our Slow Cooker recipes here and here. Explore our Lentil Soups here or here, or all of our Soups here and here. Find some inspiration in our Winter recipes here and here.

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Gentle Vegetables a la Grecque | Vegetables Poached in Wine

Oh how seductive are Autumn mornings. Full of golden light, rayed so jaw-droopingly beautifully through the leaves. Plants in autumn reach up lovingly to the sun, after months of shrinking away from the heat of summer. Long tendrils holding flowers wave in the breezes and welcome your passing smile — they nod knowingly in that gentle breeze. Chives and spring onions are flowering. Geraniums as red as lipstick. Mint and lemon verbena. Bog sage. Curry leaf. Earlier, my Lemongrass flowered — the first time ever!

How fitting then to find a recipe of matching gentleness, a warm salad of wine poached baby veggies, needing nothing else but the magnificent flavours of plants, leaves, wine and the very best of oils. Yes, Ottolenghi, you understand Autumn.

Are you after other a la Greque dishes? Try Slow Braised Fennel with Chilli, Garlic and Orange, Zucchini a la Grecque, and Parsley Braised with Olive Oil and Tomatoes.

You might like to browse other Ottolenghi recipes and all of our a la Grecque recipes. Be inspired by our collection of Mid Autumn recipes.

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How to Make Creme Fraiche | Katte Malai

Use in place of cream and sour cream for a delightful difference.

It i easy to make  Creme Fraiche regularly at those times when more desserts are eaten – winter for baked dishes, summer for fresh fruit. It is a wonderful alternative to either cream (adding a little amount of sourness) and sour cream. Wikipedia says:

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How to Make Roasted Garlic Oil

A beautifully flavoured oil.

We use a lot of oils in our kitchen. Walnut, grapeseed, sesame, mustard, olive, chilli. You name it, we use it. Recently we added Garlic oil to our repertoire.

There is some concern about garlic and oil. Make sure you do your research and make a decision based on the data and what is right for you. In any case, keep everything well refrigerated and use quickly.

You might like to browse Garlic recipes here and here, and Oil recipes here. and here. Or find inspiration in our Summer recipes here and here.

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Velouté d’asperges | Cream of Asparagus Soup

Such a gentle soup, ideal for Spring through to Late Autumn

Some years it can just be a soupy Winter, you can feel it even before Winter begins.

A gentle gentle soup today. Not one for people who like punch in their food. This one is like cream velvet. Gentle. Reflective. Inner. Wonderful. Although it is Late Autumn, we still have good quality asparagus in the shops. It is a soup that can be eaten hot or cold.

Did you know that the use of asparagus was introduced into the grande cuisine of France under the Italian influence during the Renaissance? It was part of a progressive change in eating habits in France that gave more emphasis to vegetables, long considered the food of peasants.

You might like to browse other Asparagus recipes here and here, and our Soup recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Spring collection here and here.

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Simple Chickpea Salad | Salad de Pois Chiches

One of Elizabeth David’s no-fuss salads.

Sometimes we need simple food, and who better to consult than Elizabeth David? Her Chickpea Salad fits the bill.

In this recipe it is best to use chickpeas straight from the pan or slow cooker, to get the most out of the added flavourings. But it can be made with tinned or frozen chickpeas – just heat them for a few minutes on the stove until hot.

You might also like to try Chickpeas with Ginger Root Salad. Browse other recipes by Elizabeth David, or have a look at our Chickpea recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Autumn collection here and here.

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Baked Strawberries

The intense flavour of strawberries is quite surprising.

This recipe has a long history in our family. I first baked this dish with my daughter in December 1998, on sunny Saturday afternoon, while eating her home made guacamole. For such little effort, the results are amazing. It became a dish that I took to many places, cooking it in various kitchens of various friends and family, a dessert easily whipped up yet looks so wonderfully complex and amazing.

No one eats baked strawberries, right? Yet, they are so delicious. I recommend 1 punnet of strawberries for every four to six people, depending on whether you want a lot of strawberries, or are happy to use it in a sauce like manner, drizzling it over whatever is on hand. It is especially good with the very best icecream. Continue reading “Baked Strawberries”