Soups, sandwiches, breads and salads

That restaurant, Graine de Moutarde, is definitely a worthy little place! It makes you want to start up your own little restaurant, making up daily menus based on your mood du jour... Thursday, I indulged in the Mediterranian Lentil soup (not quite Moroccan, not quite Indian dahl). It was a cool, rainy May day and the mood right for the bright, sunny, almost Provencale interior.

The lentil soup was smooth, creamy, (she had blended it smooth) with hints of curry, cumin and cracked coriander. It was topped with a dollop of crème fraiche, and a purée of cashews (blanched cashews that had then been crushed up and tossed with a bit of lemon juice) and served with "Moroccan bread". This was simply slices of fresh baguette that had been basted with a spicy tomato and olive mix and lightly toasted... The soup was heart-warming, the topping original and elegant, the side of bread, very tasty.

Strangely enough, I had been contemplating coming up with a "dahl" stew (mixing lentils and curry into a hearty soup). Dahl is Indian and means "lentils" or "lentil based" dish. It's very popular amongst the vegetarian crowd and especially the British who eat lots of Indian take away. (food to go for the American in you and me!).

I have not yet made this soup/stew yet despite the cool front hovering over the region. This is because my son and husband (the carnivores in the family) don't get very excited about soup.

My son, Pierre, 9, who makes faces and complains each time I serve soup as a first course at dinnertime--which is almost nightly-- said, "I don't like the taste of soup". (Of course I opened that can of worms by asking him why he didn't like soup? Was it the texture?)

(I find it a bit cheeky to dislike a whole catagory of food preparations, personally).

I replied, "How can you not like the flavor when I change it every night? You like carrots, so when I put them in soup you can't tell me you don't like the FLAVOR?"

He said, "Yes I can".

Right now his idea of an ideal meal is a jambon beurre, which is a ham and butter sandwich on fresh, crusty baguette bread. It's a lovely sandwich but eaten twice a day for a whole week, it gets a bit old. And it's oh-so-against the low carb diet!

I tried to slip corn chowder under his nose last night, knowing how much he loves corn... I got a wrinkled up nose and the simple question, "Can I discard the zucchini?"

"Yes, Pierre, if you'll eat the soup, you can discard the teeney, tiny bits of chopped up zucchini." (sigh!)

The next day at the Graine de Moutarde, I tried the antipasti.

The salad was grilled eggplant, zucchini, red and yellow bell peppers, tomatos, onion and garlic in olive oil and sweet basil. Very appetizing. She had run out of her bread du jour -- with this dish a focaccia bread sliced in two and stuffed with a mix of ham and black olives and herbs... (but that's why I wanted the salad, darn it!).

Well, there's always tomorrow... even if the zucchini soup with fresh goat cheese is off the menu, as well as that sexy black olive focaccia bread (sigh).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In tribute to my oldest child(Abby)'s upcoming bithday, we did partake in a french dessert. It was french vanilla ice cream. It was a little rich though.

6:06:00 PM  

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