French onion soup

An hearty au gratin onion soup, suitable for a winter supper or perhaps after a late  night out and to process an hangover.

Prepare the onion soup beforehand, and just work it off with bread and cheese in the oven before eating

The only time consuming about this recipe is the slow cooking of the onions, so have a drink while cooking!

French onion soup

French onion soup
French onion soup



1 kg onions, 50 g butter, 1 tbsp flour, 1 liter beef stock , 4 slices of bread, 150 g grated Comté, 2 sprigs of thyme, 2 leaves of laurel, salt and pepper

Cut the peeled onions into rings and fry until golden brown in butter over a low heat.

This can take a while, stir regularly to prevent burning.

Stir the flour into the onions and let it cook for a a few minutes .

Then add the stock and  the herbs to the soup and let it simmer for 25 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper.

Bake the slices of bread crispy in some butter, divide the soup into 4 bowls. Put the bread on top and divide the cheese on the bread and the soup.

Let the cheese crust nicely in a hot oven.

Serve immediately and burning hot.

Bon appétit!

If you do not have a beef broth, feel free to use a cube for once, or even better, plain water!

Chickpea, cime di rapa and fried pasta soup

I could seem a grumpy thing in my last posts, criticizing quite firmly the ‘one pot pasta’ trend.

Everyone cooks the dishes he or she prefers with  products that he is quite entitled to choose himself. And the result concerns only him, and his possible guests.

But this freedom of choice and enforcement is not absolute for editors of published recipes either on paper or on the net. These recipe writers carry a certain responsibility in relation to their readers. Their publications can serve as examples and help propagate culinary ineptitudes.

And, that’s the case with the spread of  ‘one pot pasta’  recipes. For the most part, the recipes based on pasta are not too complicated and do not require too many pans  for their realization: a pan  for sauce and a large saucepan for cooking pasta.

In the last few decades, French cooking has gradually been freed from the constraints of a classic cuisine codified by Escoffier to evolve into a cuisine of celebrity cooks.

Italian cuisine, on the other hand, is a regional cuisine, with specific family recipes and is based on local, traditional and seasonal products.

Ragù alla bolognese, pasta carbonara or caponata are traditional and family recipes with well-defined ingredients and structured preparation, although each family has a few special secrets and ingredients.

‘Spaghetti bolo’, ‘carbo with cream’ and other ‘pineapple pizza’ are therefore culinary aberrations for most Italians.

To redeem myself of this rather austere introduction, I propose a simple recipe and full of sunshine of southern Italy.

Moreover, it is almost a one pot pasta, a recipe from ‘cucina povera’ originating from Apulia with chickpea, cime di rapa, a specie of small-flowered broccoli with edible leaves and stems, also known as  broccoletti, and fresh pasta fried in olive oil.

Chickpea, cime di rapa and fried pasta soup

Chickpea, cime di rapa and fried pasta soup
Chickpea, cime di rapa and fried pasta soup

Ingredients: 1 large onion, 200 g chickpeas, 500 g of cime di rapa (to be replaced possibly by broccoli), 500 g fresh tagliatelle, olive oil, a piece of cinnamon, salt.

No garlic, no bayleaves, no thyme and no pepper, but I’ll let you improvise!

Soak the chickpeas overnight in cold water.

Sauté the onion in olive oil. Add the drained chickpeas and a liter of water. Cook the chickpeas for 45 minutes and drain them.

Pour a liter of water on the chickpeas and the cime di rapa (broccoli), then continue cooking, the time needed to fry the tagliatelle.

Heat olive oil and brown the pasta in small quantities. Put the drained pasta in the soup and continue cooking for a few minutes.

Season the soup with salt and serve the boiling.

Personally, I would have added pepper, pepper, even thyme and even replaced the water with a broth and served the soup with pecorino, but there was none. This is also the cucina povera.

Thanks to Assunta, besides her parmigiana of eggplant was the best I have ever eaten.

Enjoy your meal!

English is not my native language. Feel free to ask for information about this recipe. I will answer any question. I also would very happy with any corrections you may suggest.

Thanks in advance!

Cold artichoke soup

This ice-cold soup made from artichokes is a perfect aperitif bite or appetizer. We used artichoke hearts that we put in  jars last summer. Together with olive oil and lemon from the very last harvest this artichokes makes a perfect match. This dish makes us remember some  tastes of last summer in South-Italy.

Cold artichoke soup

Ingredients: 1 jar of artichoke hearts (about 250 g net weight), 7.5 dl of chicken broth, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 lemon, 1 small chili pepper, olive oil, salt , pepper of Espelette.

Peel and slice the onion and garlic. Make them glaze without coloring in a filet of olive oil. Add 1 dl of the liquid from the jar and 3/4 liter of defatted chicken broth . Add the artichoke hearts to the soup and cook for 30 minutes on low heat. Mix the soup and pass it trough a fine sieve. Finely grate the zest of the lemon and add it to the soup. Let the soup cool down and keep the artichoke soup in the refrigerator until serving.

Season the cold soup with lemon juice, salt and Espelette pepper, then mix the soup with enough olive oil (about 1.5 dl) and ice cubes to obtain a glazed and creamy soup .

Decorate with a few fresh mint leaves and serve immediately.

We used Espelette pepper, a variety from the South of France, but obviously and kind of not too strong pepper would be fine.

Season the artichoke velouté when it has already cooled.


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