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 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 recipes – 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 and here. Or you 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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Mushrooms a la Grecque | Mushrooms Cooked with Herbs

Versatile Greek style mushrooms

A quick lunch that does not miss out on flavour. A gorgeous brunch for a Spring day. Or part of a tapas style meal. Or a snack under the grape vines. This recipe even works well with mushrooms that are, well, a little tired and still sitting in the bottom fridge drawer.

Read more about a la Grecque cooking. Feel free to browse our “a la Greque” recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Mushroom recipes here and here. Check out our easy Spring recipes here and here.

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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 Sundal | French Black Lentil Sundal | Stir Fried Black Lentils with Coconut

Du Puy lentils add an international flavour to this Sundal.

This is the 7th Sundal in this season’s collection of such dishes.

This Sundal is made using a lentil not commonly known in India, the Du Puy Lentil (use any black or green French lentil). It has a great result. The flavours are darker than the usual Sundal, but the gorgeous semi-firmness, semi-mushiness of the lentil made a great dish.

You might also like to try Red Lentil (Masoor Dal) Sprouts Sundal, Sprouted Green Gram (Mung Bean Sprouts) Sundal, Coconut, White Peas and Green Mango Sundal, and Rajma (Kidney Beans) Sundal. Or you can make a sundal with Chickpeas or some Urad Lentils, equally as delicious. Explore all of the Sundal Recipes, they are all quick and gorgeous.

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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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Fennel a la Grecque | Fennel Slow Cooked in French-Greek Style

Fennel is delicious raw, but sometimes I love to cook it too. Here is an easy dish, a gentle dish, full of gentle flavours.

Fennel is delicious raw, but equally as good cooked. Here is an easy dish, a gentle dish, full of gentle flavours.

Looking for other fennel dishes? Try Fennel Salad with Fresh Prunes, Grilled Fennel with Mozzarella, or Fennel on the BBQ. All of our Fennel recipes are here and here. Browse the a la Grecque dishes here and here, and Greek dishes here and here. Be inspired by our Spring dishes here and here.

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Courgettes a la Grecque | Zucchini Cooked in Greek Style | A Rustic, Cold dish.

A perfect dish for hot weather

I love early morning cooking on hot days, if cooking must be done at all.  5 or 6 am is really the only comfortable time to put pot on stove. So dishes that can be eaten cold later in the day are ideal.

This recipe is a cracker. I found some scribbled notes once when I was going through my recipe paper files. And I can tell you this is good! One of Greece’s amazing and simple dishes.

Are you looking for zucchini dishes? Please browse our collection here and here. And we have a number of a la Grecque recipes here and here too. Our favourites are Fennel a la Grecque and Zucchini Curry. Or browse our Greek recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Summer dishes here and here.

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Cauliflower Slow Cooked with Lime and Spices | Cauliflower a la Grecque

Cauliflower slow cooked a la Grecque for hot summer day eating.

Let’s face it, days and days of 45C (113F) temperatures does not leave a lot of energy for cooking. It is days of cucumber sandwiches (albeit with French butter, Celtic sea salt and just-ground pepper), iced coffee and buckets of icecream.

If early mornings allow, slow cooking of cauliflower in oil and flavourings is essential preparation for the day, as is grilling of slices of large zucchini to be stuffed between bread with the same french butter, goat’s cheese and diced tomatoes. Eat with a cup of icy cold herbal tea.

We have more cauliflower recipes here and here, and a la Grecque dishes here and here. Explore our Salads here and here. Or browse our Italian recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Summer dishes 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.

You might like to browse other Ottolenghi recipes. Find other a la Grecque recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Autumn 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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Sweet Red Pepper Salads

Simple Summer salads with capsicum

I have been using Elizabeth David as my guide these past weeks, eating simply and being mindful of the produce.

  • One apricot, organic, juicy and ripe. Eaten slowly.
  • Dutch potatoes, simple boiled and dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper. Eaten as a warm salad.
  • An apple, peeled and sliced with a little salt sprinkled on it.
  • And bell peppers (capsicums) simply sliced in a salad, done two ways.

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Simple French Cucumber Salad | Concombres en Salade

The simplest but the best cucumber salad.

The French approach to vegetables is to be admired. No artifice, just simplicity to bring out the flavours of the produce.

Feel free to browse our cucumber recipes here and here, and our cucumber salad recipes here and here. All of our salads are here and here. Or gain inspiration from the Summer recipes here and here.

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