French onion soup…overanalyzed

I first ate this soup in a town called Avignon in France and was amazed by its simplicity and deep flavour. Since then, whenever a restaurant has it on its menu, I always order it. Searching in vain to relive that first experience. Now that the cold weather calls for something like that, I decided to make it myself. This soup has very few and simple ingredients but relies on quality and patience in three key areas.

One is the slow low-heat caramelization of the onions… any hasty attempts to skip this will ruin the result. Second is a good quality beef stock, (again requiring time but not much effort.) Third is off course, the amazing bread & cheese topping finished under the grill right before serving.

Unfortunately I didn’t document my stock process which I left cooking overnight, so I promise to include a post later on. There are however, many virtually identical recipes out there. You can pick whichever you like, but here also there are a few simple procecess that must be followed. Good quality big bones with lots of marrow, a good caramelization of both meat and vegetables, and a low-heat simmering for at least 5 hours. Plan ahead and enjoy.

– Mel

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leek & bacon flan

Sorry for the dark lighting, it was raining out when I took this. I attempted to use flash but it made it look awful.

I would also like to make a note stating that flan never looks all that amazing. Oh, and that the tins they were baked in are dessert tins.

Now that I’ve finished making excuses or trying to turn everyone off the idea of eating this…. it’s time to say that you really need to ignore the way it looks & focus on the way it tastes. It’s kind of like an omelet soufflé. I don’t know how else to describe it really. It was creamy. It was full of flavor. I ate two & a half tins on my own prior to taking the photograph. It has bacon in it & let’s be honest, who doesn’t like bacon. And most importantly was that it was served on a plate that has bamboo on it.

Ok, I lie, that last point was completely irrelevant & made no sense whatsoever. The bamboo plate is all off, it should be serving some sort of oriental dish. Forgive me. I’ve been up since 06:00 after a sleepless night & it’s now 02:07 the next day, I stopped making sense six hours ago.

I’ll stop now.
Promise to make the bacon & leek flan though.
Like actually make it.
Ok. Stopping.

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sweet potato & chickpea soup


Two orange coloured soups in less than a week…. shame on me. I’ve also had two orange backgrounds on my desserts…. and the leaves are starting to go orange as well. That’s the leaves on the trees I mean.

…I’m lying about the last one, no orange leaves. Yet.

I’m sorry about all the orange though, I’m not however sorry about the second soup. I make no apologies.

It’s cold, that’s all I’m saying.

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extra creamy pumpkin soup

The cold has snuck up on us without warning & we went from tank tops to sweaters, boots & scarves in the blink of an eye.

The bringing of autumn means it’s time to break out the soup recipes, lots & lots of creamy, delicious, heart warming soups…. & we’re starting it off with a wonderfully delicious pumpkin soup recipe that Mel & I used to make when we had our own little catering company.

Two years ago, for four months, we gave it our all in the kitchen & attempted to cater lunch for the local offices. For a while it was incredible, we were bringing home cooked, exciting flavors to the people near & dear…

Twelve hour days, the vegetable market at 06:00 in the morning, & hours poured over designing new menus every week. We were exhausted but happy beyond belief… then of course greeks remembered that they didn’t want to start thinking about what to eat for lunch at 11:00 & so it quickly crashed & burned. There ended that chapter in our lives.

This soup is one of the very dishes that we used to serve up, & it came from Mel’s incredible creativity. It is truly delicious & I’m thrilled to be sharing it with you now.

Just remember, it is all about the pumpkin & if you don’t have the perfect one…. well then it’s still pretty incredible.

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