Fish, pumpkin and cornichon soup

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A colorful fish soup that makes a whole meal. Freely inspired by Slavic gherkin soups. It’s quick and easy.

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Suguna kabocha pumpkin. I boiled the pieces in water till soft.

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The head of tai (sea bream). Fish head is cheap, flavorful and there is plenty to eat. It’s ideal for a soup.

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Cornichons à l’estragon.
Gherkins with tarragon. I made when ? Last May :


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I thinly sliced them.

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Put the fish in the pot, add half of the gherkins, the kabocha and cooking broth. Simmer 20 minutes.

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Near the end, take out 1/2 cup of broth, add cream, salt, pepper, fresh thyme, the rest of pickles. On the table, mix into the soup, put back the lid and wait a few minutes.

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Serve with croutons.

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Open and enjoy while it’s hot.

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Greens for the heat

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We are having a dry or a late rainy season. It’s getting hot. We have to get used to it. Adapting the menu is very important.

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This natto is from a village called Tamba, famous for its soy bean. It’s a little more hand-made than the ordinary one.

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I’ve added negi leeks, nira garlic chives and green sansho peppercorns that are now in season, with dashi broth and a little soy sauce, mixed and let a few hours.

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Very large long beans. I’ve just cut them in 2 and blanched.

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Blanched ninniku no me (garlic stalks) and boiled tokk (Korean mochi rice cakes)

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The beans, stalks and tokk reheated in tomato sauce with lots of cut fresh oregano.

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To add a little sourness : tarragon pickles (made here).

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Yuzu tabouleh and nira falafels

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Chunky texture falafels, with a creamy tahini sauce. The local twist is the addition of nira (garlic chives).

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Citrus flavored tabouleh. What is special is I’ve used yuzu, the Japanese citrus and different herb. That was really delicious.

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Overnight soaked chickpeas pasted with some bigger chunks, littles bits of onion and chopped nira (garlic chives), salt, pepper. I thickened them with oatmeal. Pan-fried.

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Home-made tahini in the blender. I’ve added salt and lemon juice to make it a creamy dip. Harissa on the side.

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I slightly precooked the bulgur in water (when I have more time, I soak it one night in plenty of water instead), then added everything to the drained grain. I let flavor mix overnight.

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A side of cucumber kimchi.

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Pickling cukes : kimchi + cornichons à l’estragon

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Two ways of quickly pickling small cucumbers.

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I really had a big bag that I was not going to eat before they go bad. I don’t need pickles for Winter, just some that prolongates the cukes for a week.

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Lazy kimchi : breaking the cucumbers in dices and mixing with kimchi from the store. Mix and close. The lacto-fermentation of kimchi will extend to the added vegetables.
They will be ready in one or two days.

Note : kimchi is nor vegetarian usually, but some versions without animal products can be made.

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Cornichons is the French name for finger sized cucumbers, and for their pickled version. Estragon is tarragon. I’ve also added a small onion.

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1/4 of vinegar heated with water. A few grains of black pepper. And there is salt. Let cool. Close.
They will be ready next week.

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A fresh lunch tray

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Today’s lunch. No fuss.
Hot days are arriving… and going back… and back. Chaotic weather, so the food looks random too.

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Spring roll du jour : lots of raw veggies and herbs.

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Sesame, natto…

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Rolled !

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Dessert waffles : batter is flour, baking powder, sugar and vanilla. Garnished with grated apple, almond slices, cocoa chips.

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Cooked !

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Chicken liver, onion, paprika and balsamico sauce leftover (from here).

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Maquereau au four – baked mackerel.

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Spring is a bit this year. Let’s enjoy baked fish.

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Okinawan yellow skin potatoes. New.

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A bed of baked potatoes with a fragrance of white wine.

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Tarragon brings an interesting flavor.

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Cover with the mackerel (maquereau).

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With a quick ciabatta.

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Green duet. Herb and prune pounti, and cucumber lemon balm salad

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A big pounti pie, and 2 small ones…
I made this dish before and there is some explanation of its origins as a French peasant dish :
about the “pounti aux pruneaux”

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I had really lots of herbs around. Can you name them ?

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Starting easy : Spinach.

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Parsley.

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Shiruna, beet greens.

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Karashina (takana), mustard greens. If you follow this blog you’ve seen them (here)

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Tarragon.

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Marjoram.

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A milky cuke salad, flavored with fresh lemon balm. I had big huge cucumbers like in France. The local ones are much smaller usually.

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There are prunes in the pountis. The sweet and savory contrast is excellent.

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