Last Saturday evening, we went to the coast to have a late supper with some friends in Trouville. Our friends booked a small restaurant with a terrace overlooking the sea where we could enjoy the sunset. Half-way through supper, I overheard a lady sitting at the next table not complaining, but correcting the description of one of the dishes, the exact one I was about to eat. The lady renamed the dish for the owner more fittingly (I love that precision in France and so correct). I suddenly had a lower expectation of what was about to arrive, but still happy to eat it. I really enjoyed what I ate, but I only enjoyed it because I had the correct description of the dish, so was not disappointed, - really silly, but true.
It got me thinking all about titles we give or expectations we have of food, but as then, a simple name changed everything and made me enjoy the food more. Today, I wanted to make mushroom soup, which made me think that when I say mushroom soup to myself, I automatically assume what will be in it (i.e. thick cream, chives, garlic, black pepper, butter and, bien sûr, mushrooms). So, I
decided to challenge myself and not use any of the usual ingredients, even if would not be as good the soup I know and love.
500g of diced mushrooms
half a teaspoon of brown sugar
200g diced courgettes
30 ml of white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of tahini (sesame seed paste)
4 tablespoons of tomato purée
1 litre of water
salt, pepper and chilli to taste
In a non stick pan with olive oil, brown your mushrooms until dark amber, adding your sugar at the end to caramelise and help the colour. De-glaze with white wine vinegar. Let that reduce for 15 seconds adding your tomato purée and tahini. Stir through and add the courgettes (less some for the garnish) and the water. Simmer for 20 minutes. Put in a blender to make it smooth and serve with a bit of the raw courgette diced.
So... we enjoyed the soup for being different.