Velvety Carrot Soup

Carrots Velouté

Serves 2

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This simple soup recipe is a French traditional family favorite that combines the nutritional value of carrots along with a subtle amount of the irresistible Indian spices of cumin or curry. Warming, healthy and délicieux!


INGREDIENTS

6 medium to large sized carrots

1 large red onion

1 garlic clove

4 tsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1 branch of fresh fennel (anise)

1/2 tsp of curry or cumin

1 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup white wine

3 cups water

3 branches of thyme

salt and pepper to taste

alt=“Chopped Carrots for Velouté Soup Recipe Healthy Homestyle French Cooking Le Menu Maison Food Blog Bruno Gaget”

PREPARATION

•• Peel the skins from the carrots and throughly cleanse under clear water to remove any residue of dirt. •• Remove the ends and then cut the length of each carrot into thin slices, approximately 1/8-inch thick. ••

•• To prepare the onion, begin by chopping the top off, then cut the onion in half, leaving the root attached. •• Peel the skin away, discarding the brown layers until you are left with the white onion halves. •• Make 2 or 3 horizontal cuts into the first onion half, then cut down vertically, holding the onion together as you chop. •• Repeat with same cuts with the other half.••

•• Under running water, cleanse the fennel branch and remove some of the feathery leaves for presentation, then cut the branch lengthwise into thin slices.••

•• Using a large pan, heat the butter and olive oil over a medium low heat. •• When the butter begins to bubble, add the carrots first, followed by the onion, garlic, fennel, cumin and salt and pepper. •• Gently mix together, cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 10 minutes, occasionally stirring.  •• Add a 1/4 cup of water or white wine to déglacer and continue to cook and mix for another 2 minutes. •• Add the chicken stock, 3 cups of water and 3 branches of fresh thyme. •• Continue to cook for 30 minutes over a low heat until the carrots are throughly softened. ••

•• Remove the thyme branches and allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes. •• Using a hand-held blender, blend the mixture until it becomes a velvety smooth “velouté”. •• Transfer the velouté into a large serving bowl or individual bowls. •• Sprinkle a few fennel leaves for presentation and serve with a warm crusty French bread and butter.••

•• Voila! ••

alt=“Homemade French Bread Le Menu Maison Bruno Gaget Healthy Homestyle Cooking and Recipes Food Blog”


 

 

Misfits Market

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With our focus on food origins and the importance of the best ingredients you can source locally, we recently embarked on an experiment beyond the backyard.  Although online shopping for organic fruits and vegetables never occurred to us, we decided to see what was behind a simple snail-mail flyer for Misfits Market.  Within a week of signing up for a subscription for two and a delivery schedule of every other week, we received our first shipment of misfit fruits and veggies (pictured above). If you like surprises like we do, then you’re in for a bounty of healthy ingredients that also serves as inspiration for your next foray into the kitchen. Another upside to the surprise factor is finding an ingredient in your box that you may have been reluctant to try or one that you would not otherwise find locally. More recently, we participated in Misfits Market beta test for specific ordering and add-ons, versus a surprise package.  Approximately a week before the next scheduled shipment, Misfits Market emailed a list of preferences within five separate categories.  For those who are true meal planners and super-organized, these added features to the service, certainly come in handy.

The mission of Misfits Market is timely and long overdue. According to their About page, they state that in America, many of us still don’t have access to high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables and that we waste as much food as we eat. Almost half of what our nation’s farms grow is never eaten. Much of this is due to modern-day beauty standards for food. Misfit fruits, misshapen vegetables, and delicious but odd-sized produce are squandered at every level. It’s not healthy, it’s expensive, it’s a problem at a huge scale, and it doesn’t fit with their view of the world, hence the start-up of their new and rapidly expanding company.

But that’s not all. For meal planning and other ideas, the folks at Misfits Market also include a recipe card that includes a specific item found in your box. The shipments are via Federal Express and great care is taken with the packaging and delivery, even in inclement weather conditions. They seem to have thought of everything, right down to the recyclable cardboard boxes to the ice packs that are reusable and environmentally safe for disposal.

So go on online to get organic! When joining the Misfits movement, you can save 30% on your first box by using code LEMENUMAISON30.  And for our special friends and subscribers in Florida, beginning this week, Misfits Market has officially started taking orders for delivery to all zip codes in the sunshine state.

••To Eating Well••


Crazy for Cauliflower

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Whether you prefer cauliflower cooked or crunchy, this essential member of the cabbage family is high in fiber and contains many nutrients and other important sources of antioxidants. Cauliflower heads can be roasted, grilled, boiled, fried, steamed, pickled, or eaten raw. The thick stalks are not recommended, but when cooked down, the green leaves are also very delicious. Because we are crazy for cauliflower, we are kicking off a few recipe shares, beginning with Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan @ Cooking with Carole.

To eating with ease and to eating well!

Cauliflower broccoli Romanesco carrots celery cabbage farmers' market Le Marché Saint Louis Fontainebleau France

There are hundreds of historic and current commercial varieties of these cruciferous vegetables used around the world. Some of the different varieties and colors of cauliflower, such as the popular Romanesco cauliflower or broccoli are pictured in the forefront at the Le Marché Saint-Louis in Fontainebleau, France.


 

An Anytime Omelette

Omelette Rolled with Parsley

Omelette Roulée au Persil

Serving 2


Whether it’s breakfast, brunch, a luncheon for two or a light dinner for one, omelettes are a perfect centerpiece for other healthy and delicious accompaniments of your choice, anytime!


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INGREDIENTS

6 organic free range eggs

5 branches fresh parsley

2 tbsps butter

1/4 cup of half & half or whole milk

salt and pepper to taste

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PREPARATION

•• Prepare the fresh parsley by throughly washing and removing the leaves from the stems. •• Finely chop the leaves and set aside. •• In a mixing bowl combine 1/4 cup of half & half or whole milk along with salt and pepper to taste. •• Preheat a non stick frying pan over a low heat and set your serving plate next to the stove top. •• In the same mixing bowl, crack each egg and then add the parsley. •• Blend the ingredients using a fork, taking care not to aggressively over-mix. •• With the frying pan sufficiently heated, increase the temperature to medium/high and add 2 tbsps of butter. •• Allow the butter to melt evenly and maintained without any burning. •• Immediately pour in the egg mixture even if the butter is not completely melted. •• The eggs should then sit for a few seconds, but no longer. •• Using a spatula, slowly and consistently push the eggs from one side of the pan to the opposite side of the pan, creating wrinkles, of sorts. •• This is where a mild panic may set in…but don’t surrender! Continue on by pushing side to side until the eggs are no longer liquid, but still appear a little wet. •• Turn off the heat and tilt your frying pan in an angle when lifting it off the stove. •• This positioning allows for the omelette to roll and fold directly onto the serving plate. •• The technique of rolling and folding is why this dish is called “omelette roulée” which translates as “rolled omelette”. ••

Voilà!

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Vichyssoise Soup

Soupe Vichyssoise

Serves 2

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The origin of Vichyssoise is a subject of debate among the culinary elite, including beloved American chef, writer and television personality, Julia Child and Louis Diat, a world renowned French chef and culinary writer who cooked for nobility, prime ministers and ambassadors. But in keeping with our love of folklore and all things traditionally French, we’re going to go with the tale of King Louis XV of France. As the story goes, Louis was afraid of being poisoned and in response had so many servants taste-test the potato leek soup that by the time the soup finally reached him, it had turned cold. However surprisingly, the king rather enjoyed and ultimately preferred the coolness of Vichyssoise over the intended warmth in serving. This basic soup recipe not only invites varying serving temperatures, but also varying versions of ingredients that can include other vegetables or a dash or two of crème frâiche! 


INGREDIENTS

 1 1/2 quarts water

1 tsp salt

4 medium gold potatoes

3 tsp butter

1 medium sized leek

1/2 medium sweet onion

1 tbsp butter

1 garlic clove with skin

1/2 glass white wine (optional)

5 sprigs fresh chive

3 branches fresh parsley

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PREPARATION

•• Using a large sauce pan with a cover and over a medium high heat, bring 1 1/2 quarts of water and 1 tsp of salt to a brisk boil.  •• Reduce the heat to low to maintain a hot water temperature. •• Peel and dice 4 potatoes into very small-size cubes. •• Rinse and set aside in a bowl of cold water to prevent the potatoes from turning dark. •• Throughly cleanse the leek and remove all residual sand and dirt from between the leaves. •• Finely cut the leek into pieces of approximately 1/8”, including a desired portion of the green leaves as well. •• In a large bowl, rinse the leeks one more time and strain. •• Using a large sauté pan, melt 3 tsp butter over a medium low heat. •• Add the leeks and allow to sweat for approximately 5-6 minutes or until all of the liquid has evaporated. •• The leeks should appear soft and sweet to the taste, indicating readiness. •• Set the leeks aside in a separate bowl. ••

•• Peel and dice a half sweet onion into small cubes. •• Using the same sauté pan, combine the onions with 1 tbsp of butter and a crunched garlic clove with the skin intact. For approximately 7 minutes, allow the onions to sweat until soft and golden. •• Remove the skin of the garlic which will have naturally separated and discard. •• Add the potatoes and mouillér with a few tbsps of cold water or a 1/2 glass of white wine. •• Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the potatoes become soft. •• Add the leeks and cover with 1 1/2 quarts of the reserved hot water. •• Create a broth by cooking over a very low heat for another 10 minutes. •• Strain the broth into a large mixing bowl or use a ladle to separate the vegetables from the broth and place aside. •• Using a hand-held mixer, blend the potato and leek mixture into a creamy and smooth purée. •• Evenly mix the purée into the bowl of broth to create Vichyssoise, then transfer into the sauté pan and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. •• Optional is the addition of a little more butter or crème fraîche for added creaminess.  •• Either at room temperature or refrigerated, chill the soup to the desired temperature. •• Pour the Vichyssoise into a serving bowl and garnish with finely cut fresh chive. •• Serve with a homemade crusty French bread and butter! ••

•• Voilà! ••

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