Provençal Greens Soup is my get rid of leftovers meal. And it is awesome! I always manage to buy the wrong amounts of kale, or spinach, leeks, or some other green for my recipes and they sit there staring at me from the fridge. I combine them together to create this soup. A couple of eggs help to thicken and bring heartiness to the dish.
I had my first bowl of French Onion Soup during a high school trip to France. It was unexpectedly delicious! I made plans of figuring it out myself one day. As I grew older, I realized it was fantastic for more than it’s flavor. It is a great way to keep from throwing away old produce. What a great way to use up a bunch of onions that are close to death! This recipe also happens to be a good way to use up bread that is a bit too stale and cheese that isn’t large enough for a cheese plate.
Today, I wanted to try out a whole-wheat loaf. I have been tasting some amazing breads during our travels and have been feeling like switching up from white breads to something a bit “healthier”. I saw some gorgeous loaves of sunflower seed baguettes in a shop and wanted to replicate the look and flavor. Most of the seeds fall off as you eat it, I am thinking an egg glaze would do the trick if you want to have them stick a bit better.
I was spending the last few days of our winter vacation in Paris and chatting with friends to plan the de-installation of a show we were all participating in. My current location came to be the topic of conversation, and a dear friend reminisced about a Blanquette de Veau she ate at Auberge Bressane in Paris. Since the girls were spending the night this past weekend, I offered to make the dish for them.
We have been planning a lot of soups and stews here to get through a rather chilly January, and I have been looking forward to making a stew with some of the beautiful dried mushrooms I brought back from the open air markets in Barcelona. I wanted something healthy and hearty and full of earthy flavors, and decided to use Porcini and Chanterelle mushrooms for my stew.
We wanted to have a beautiful and healthy meal to share, but I cannot let go of my need to impress all together, so I thought a lovely piece of fish prepared in a traditional and beautiful manner would be the perfect solution! En Papilotte sounds really fancy, doesn’t it? It really just means in paper. The technique is to wrap a piece of fish and any accompanying goodies in a piece of parchment and seal it so the fish steams in its little envelope as it bakes.
Soup is one of Nico’s favorite “food categories” and has been perfect through this strange cold spell on the east coast these past few weeks. Nico made a request for some kind of pumpkin soup, so I figured we would go for a butternut squash and carrot. I like to roast the squash and carrots to shorten the soup cooking time but also to give a sweetness and smokiness to the vegetables that is generally not activated with just boiling them.
We spent the Christmas holiday with Nico’s family in the mountain village Ax-les Thermes in the French Pyrenees. Each afternoon, after hours of cavorting in the snowy slopes, we would have an open air picnic. Nico’s mom would pack cheeses, tomatoes, and meats, and hunks of Pain de Campagne picked up from the bakery in the morning. This bread was different than the country loaves I had become accustomed to. There was something other than bread flour in there. After days of eating it, I decided it was rye and made a deal with myself to give it a try when I got home.