Monday 30 July 2012

Soup for thought...

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.


  1. That sounds tasty (you may as well get used to seeing me say that; I love most everything). I'm going to have to start printing your recipes out.

    We always have some kind of broth or stock in the freezer, including the water saved from re-hydrating dried mushrooms, and are always looking for interesting ways to use it. And with soup season coming up... well! I can see a variation on this soup in my future!

  2. Thank you so much for your kind words, means a lot to me. I have a whole stack of writing(think scribble!) books with my own recipes and ideas (over 20 years worth), so you may need more ink!! I enjoy your blog too and see you cook really well, did you go to culinary school?. I hope My recipes are clear enough, not a natural word-smith! Ivan :-)


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