Autumn Gourmand

We have been watching Geese fly south, and displays of yellow trees suddenly disappear in a high wind. The school ‘run’ with the youngest, which is a pleasant walk down our lane, now incorporates picking up twigs for kindling for the stoves.
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Sometimes, we meet one of our neighbours on his morning walk. He was born in the house he lives in and went to the same school 60 years ago. His brother built a house next door to his. These two are the last still here of a hamlet that was once made up of several small holdings, all with orchards, gardens, vines and animals. The well for the hamlet was (and still is) on our property, the bread oven on the back of the brothers’ old farm house. There are unused wine chai’s (storage buildings), abandoned orchards, dying walnut groves, and bat filled barns with tiny houses at one end dotted round. Some of the old trees provide us with fruit and the pleasure of picking it throughout the seasons.

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But the best remnant of this dying era is our neighbours’ garden. Large, tilled with a hand machine, seasonal. Best of all, full of organic produce sometimes gifted to ourselves. Right now it is pumpkins. Huge, dense, rich tasting (especially when roasted) pumpkins. We love our neighbour.
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We love ROASTED PUMPKIN SOUP.
It doesn’t require any fuss, unless you count making some delicious chicken or vegetable stock – but this time of the year when the wood stove is going, it is easy for me to pop on top a pot of veg scraps, herbs and water in the morning, to simmer away for a few hours.
Don’t worry about precise amounts of ingredients to use – whatever is to your taste!
– Chop a pumpkin up into even size chunks or wedges (sort of the size of a normal wedge of cake!) Leave the skin on, but scrape off the seeds with a spoon. You can save the seeds to roast and eat too, but that’s another recipe…
– In a bowl sprinkle the wedges with salt and drizzle with oil then mix together with your hands. Lay them on a baking tray and roast for about an hour in a medium hot oven.
– When cooled, scrape the flesh off the skins.
– Sweat a little onion and garlic together in a large pan until cooked and then add the pumpkin. Try adding a tiny bit of a flavour you like too – cinnamon, or ginger or chilli for example.
– Add enough stock of your choice to cover-plus-a-bit-more and simmer for just half an hour.
– Blend in the pot with a hand blender and then add some cream at this point, or swirl it about on top once it is in bowls. Garnish with parsley or coriander and some croutons…

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Rosie Paddon offers bespoke planning for all unique events in France. Wedding planning and Rosieskitchen Catering services. Rosie Paddon is able to put over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry around the world to use in organising exceptional French Events. Her enthusiasm for the area – with its atmospheric architecture, the markets and love of food, and the diverse activities available, means that she can provide you with vital knowledge to help you plan your party, no matter what your budget. From hilltop castles, a local chapel with ancient frescoes, feasts in an enormous banqueting barn, or a romantic vine clad tower, your dream wedding, or any celebration, is possible. French Events at Partyinfrance is a bespoke service and every wedding or celebration is unique so do not hesitate to contact Rosie for individual help and advice. ‘Rosies Kitchen’ also offers a bespoke Personal Chef and Private Catering Service. Working with as many local suppliers as possible, they have provided meals from a romantic dinner for two, to weddings and village fetes for over 200. Rosie believes that a celebration meal can make or break a successful party and is especially enthusiastic about food! Although usually leaning towards a relaxed French fete atmosphere - Spit roasting or barbequing over an open fire pit is their speciality - there is often a personal element relative to a couple that can be incorporated into a menu. Personal menus are devised to suit the occasion & the numbers involved. They are also experienced in Vegetarian & Vegan, and dietary intolerant options. Rosies Kitchen lovely catering staff are a must for use at events too large for clients to handle on their own. This is also the perfect answer for stressed hosts who want to organise their own event, but can use the consulting service, and can let the team take over.

One response to “Autumn Gourmand

  1. Hi, I loved reading your post. We moved back to Paris just over a year ago after several years in the countryside near Bordeaux, this post reminded me so much of our life there. I look forward to reading more! Siobhan

    Like

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