French Farmhouse Soup

Posted by on Nov 3, 2016 in Soup | 3 comments


l lamented missing the chunks of fairytale pumpkin at the market but,


MP remedied that when he suddenly became crafty--


hollowing out a whole pumpkin to shape into a cool succulent container.


I spied the crown destined for compost and slipped it into the oven to make a French soup translated from a recipe my friend, Madame Troubat, from Aubagne sent to me on our return in October.  The soup is a trifecta of pumpkin, sweet potato (yam), and carrot melded together into an elegant Potage Toute Orange.


Initially, it took 2 hours for the pumpkin top-- doused with olive oil, salt and pepper-- to roast to a tender round.


I could have sliced it and served on the spot as a vegetable side dish; it was that delicious!


I gave it a whirl in the processor and determined I had about 1½ pounds of the silky puree.


The following day, loosely guided by my translation,


I sautéed shallot in butter and proceeded to add the sweet potato, and carrot covered with water to which I added salt and pepper.  The sweet potato broke down quicker than the carrot and I did add more water as needed; after 40 minutes of simmering


I dropped in saffron threads off heat to steep.


 I used an immersion blender to combine the sweet potato and carrot mixture


 and stirred in the reserved pumpkin and coconut cream as an alternative to heavy cream, adjusting the seasonings as well as thinning it with more water. For a smooth, glossy soup blend and heat the soup in a Vitamix if you are blessed to have one.


This makes a boat load of soup perfect as an amuse bouche for a Thanksgiving crowd topped with a fried sage leaf, a first course for 6-8 or an entrée soup with pan seared scallops cradled within.


Velvety and sumptuous with a rather exotic aroma,


this meal saddled right up next to a Kale Cesar like they were royalty.

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How did I do my friend?

Photographs and text used on cococooks belong to me, Peggy Lunde unless linked otherwise.



Soupe Toute Orange


  • ingredients (for 6 persons):
  • 1 (2 pound) pumpkin or squash
  • 1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes
  • 4 - 5 carrots (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 onion échalion type (pink onion and elongated form) also known as the shallot.
  • 1 small pot of cream (I used ½ cup coconut cream scooped from the top of the can)
  • 2-3 coffee pods of saffron or a large ½ teaspoon saffron threads
  • butter or oil
  • salt pepper -


  1. Clean the vegetables, peel them and cut them in large cubes.
  2. In a pot, sauté the onion in a bit of fat (butter or sunflower oil) when it has a nice golden color, add the vegetables, and water up to height; add salt and pepper.
  3. Cook 10 minutes to the pressure cooker or up to 40 minutes in traditional cooking.
  4. Add the saffron in the end of the cooking, after having stopped the cooking, and leave to infuse for a few minutes.
  5. Mix the finely soup by integrating the cream.
  6. Variant:
  7. This soup perhaps, without complex, presented at a festive menu.
  8. You can present it in a pretty bowl on which you asked two -three shells St Jacques pan-fried presented in skewers.
  9. Recipe courtesy of Madame Troubot- Aubagne, France

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October Soup Remedy

Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 in Soup | 1 comment

Image result for pumpkin spice hair color images

Photo: Fall Hair! YOKU

Smitten Kitchen, is an ambitious seriously renowned home cooking weblog trailblazer ‘with an emphasis on simplifying daunting recipes’. Deb Perelman (also a cookbook author) delivers her recipes and know–how in easy, tongue-in-cheek conversation with beautiful photography.


Deliberating about the pumpkin spice alien invasion recently, Indian-spiced Cauliflower Soup made my list for dinner after Monday night’s big wow rain storm.


Like a stir-fry, this soup flies together easily by prepping the ingredients and placing them close at hand.  An actual 2-second pause clause appears in the instructions.


Ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, fennel, fresh lime juice, and a jalapeno create the magic; an orange yam filled in for the potato in my pot-o-soup; a few rings of a medium-hot jalapeno pepper with cool fruitiness found its way into the soup and as a punchy garnish along with a dollop of Greek yogurt, cilantro, and zesty lime.


Teasing showers long gone by supper time rinsed us off to blazing temperatures with wind arriving Wednesday and I was one for dinner.


My preference is a stew like consistency; accordingly, I used the immersion blender in a portion of the soup, leaving chunks of cauliflower and bright orange yam bits peeking out from the highly spiced broth. Pssst…I will use 3 cups of water next time.


MP can reheat this one when he arrives home from his big Colorado adventure!

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Segue to Provence

Posted by on Aug 2, 2016 in Soup | 7 comments


It’s not only the summer heat; patio dinners and simple suppers rule through August.  It may seem as if we’ve eaten acres of tomatoes,


sliced warm from the garden;




roasted, whirled into gazpacho, fanned into Caprese with layers of rich buttery avocado


or wedged between hunks of buffalo mozzarella and aged balsamic vinegar.


Our garden bounty harvest is gone-- only, were not finished yet.


Swathes of heirloom beauties and sweet dolly sized tomatoes line big shallow tubs at the farmers’ market like old-fashioned backyard sandboxes.



Fragrant roasted tomatoes, shallots, and garlic spun dizzily into creamy, warm pastel orange soup sets my head spinning too—dreaming of unfussy-styled suppers in the South of France.


Ahem, segue; blink, blink, blink!


Roasted Tomato Soup with Cold Grilled Sockeye Salmon, Green Bean Salad with Gingered Garlic Vinaigrette, Fresh Figs, and Eggs.

Coco & Sunflower 2

I’m looking for my passport.

Photographs and text used on cococooks belong to me, Peggy Lunde unless linked otherwise.

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One Note Isn’t Necessarily Wrong…

Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Soup | 1 comment

Ripped from my copy of Real Simple Magazine, Sesame Chicken Noodle Bowl  posing on the page without description, leaves the steaming bowl up to imaginary taste bud interpretation gleaned from a list of fresh Asian veggies, pure miso gingered broth, slick rice noodles; and obviously the beautiful photograph.


Substituting thigh for breast meat, a thinner noodle (because that’s what I had) and additional handful of snow peas shaped our bowl.


Once again have the ingredients close at hand;


here the chicken cooks ahead of time in exotic toasted sesame oil to be set aside.









Then, when the burner ignites, the mushroom, aromatics, and miso


set the pot to flavor a clean clear broth.


A few minutes later, vibrant baby bok choy, crisp snow peas and rice noodles slide in with the reserved chicken and a measure of rice wine vinegar for a zippy note.

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MP and I have been on a roll with noodle bowls of late; kindled with robust flavors emanating from hot and sour umami flavors.  In brilliant contrast, this noodle bowl was subtle and delicately nuanced; a one note syllable which wasn’t necessarily wrong. Therefore, except for the addition of salt and perhaps less water I would definitely prepare this scented garden again; notating aroma and taste create a world of profiles.

Pass the Sriracha if you must!

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Indie-style in the Pot

Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Asian and Vegetarian, Soup | 0 comments


Lucky Peach is a food and lifestyle journal that explores various themes outside of mainstream thinking; through indie style, art, photography, essays, and food too. Food & Wine gave a nod to LP Asian takeout favorites like Hot-and-Sour Soup which truly is reminiscent of pleasing spicy Chinese homebrew from a carton.


The tough part is collecting all the stuff—then it cooks up quickly.


Wood Ear mushrooms are elusive—so I chose a single cluster Maitake mushroom to pull apart and toss into the soup. I also tread lightly with the vinegar and Sriracha using only half of the amounts called for.  More of each can be stirred in to liven up individual bowls.  Pork shoulder doesn’t hang around my kitchen, but a half pound of MP’s homemade wild boar sausage stepped up.  Then of course, if tofu isn’t on your protein dance card, simply leave it out and use 8 ounces of another.  One pound of deli-style chicken could easily be a nominee for both.


Now, just chop up the fresh aromatics and sauté them


with the meat in a neutral oil (I used coconut) and cook until softened and the meat has lost its pinkish color.


Add stock, bring it to a boil; then stir in tofu, vinegar, soy etc.


Stir in the mushrooms. I added a few wedges of tomato too.


Drizzle the eggs over the soup, stirring with a fork forming eggy strands.


Taste and adjust the sour and heat.

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 When the eggs are set, divide and devour while catching up with Chip and Joanna at Magnolia.

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Greens, Grains, and Beans

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Soup | 0 comments

It’s happened to you too; cooking all day, tasting and seasoning food leaves little personal appetite.  In my case, especially during the holidays, when I cook for others; I settle for a messy fresh farm egg on whole grain toast or better yet if I’ve planned ahead; a one pot wonder filled to the brim with hot flavorful broth and a mix of nutty grains, beans or legumes and leafy greens.

Cooking Light calls Smoky Farro and Chickpea Soup a “trifecta of deliciousness”.  Farro, an ancient savory wheat grain has a substantial chew somewhat nuttier and earthier than barley.  Since it takes a while to cook, I find it simmers to perfection without any attention except fuzzy logic in a rice cooker.








One cup of farro and three cups of water equals the cooked farro called for in this recipe.








(There are also fast cooking and pre-cooked varieties available).  Although the list of ingredients stretches nearly off the page, setting them in place simplifies three easy steps of soup construction.









Cook the aromatics in olive oil; then season to taste with salt and pepper and sweat for a few minutes. Contrary to the instructions, I added only one teaspoon smoked paprika combined with one teaspoon of cumin; and cooked them for half a minute









before stirring in the chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tomatoes and broth.  By the way, it seemed silly to use three-quarters of a quart vegetable broth leaving 1 cup for what?  A whole quart went in the pot; reducing water to two cups.










All that remained behind was chopped rainbow chard, farro, and the adornments.  I simmered the soup for 20 minutes to intensify the flavors; then tumbled the farro and greens into the soup.


Easy and hearty; top the soup with (greens love balsamic) Parmesan, sliced scallion, and avocado slices.

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One belly bowl, feet up and a blanket makes it a soup supper!

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