Summer peach soup with red berries..and Provence

In midsummer, when the sun is blazing hot and the cigales are singing away, we don’t have much desire for eating, except for indulging in ice cream. A cold simmer peach soup is perfect for those days and brings a bit of welcome change to the ice cream menu.

Summer peach soup 11-07-2013 19-36-49 3619x3208

La recette:

  1. Bring to the boil 1 liter of water with 1 vanilla pod, 200 g sugar and the rind of 1 lemon. Remove from the heat, add a handful of fresh mint leaves and set aside to cool.
  2. Peel and cut 6 peaches of your choice into slices.
  3. Add to the warm syrup and leave to cool down completely before storing in the fridge for about 4 hours to infuse.
  4. Serve cold in glasses or bowls and add a handful of fresh red berries of your choice to the soup(optional).
  5. Decorate with fresh mint leaves and serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

Serves 6 people.

Pincée de fleur de sel:

  • I used a mixture of white and yellow peaches.
  • Macerate the berries with some sugar before adding to the soup, since they may be too sour for the soup.
  • Add the berries on a little kebab/cocktail stick and stick into the soup, to eat separately.
  • Leave the berries if so desired.
  • Replace the mint with lemon verbena for something different.
  • Serve in frozen glasses for an icy effect.

peaches  18-06-2007 13-06-29 3008x2000

The signature of Provence is its white limestone..in the countryside, the hills,  in the built walls, the drywalls, the houses, the pavings ,  the flowerbeds, the villages… Some of them new and some weathered handsomely by the mistral  and rains of centuries.

Provence 2013 27-06-2013 18-18-22 3675x2945

I love an atmospheric window..

Provence 2013 27-06-2013 18-18-29 2405x2908

Clearly seen in this image below, is the different types of stone used, maybe at different times by different craftsmen.

Provence 2013 27-06-2013 18-57-48 4928x3264

Just look at that stone…beautiful non?..

Provence 2013 27-06-2013 18-08-006

A  stone staircase between these beautiful stone walls, going up and up and up…

Provence 2013 27-06-2013 18-27-23 3139x4349A typical Provencal door..

Provence 2013 27-06-2013 18-21-21 3179x4415

A flowerbed by a front door, typical in the small villages with no gardens..

Provence 2013 27-06-2013 18-20-54 3137x3229

Lovely shutters and vigne vierge creeper..

Provence 2013 27-06-2013 18-25-14 3264x4928

Sedum growing on the rooftiles..totally content in the heat, like me…

Provence 2013 27-06-2013 18-53-28 4928x3264

Holly hocks…an old world flower and one of my favorites..

Provence 2013 27-06-2013 19-08-22 3264x4928

Gay colour in an ochre coloured flower container..

Provence 2013 28-06-2013 12-48-38 3165x3896

Bonnieux is known for its brocantes..

Provence 2013 29-06-2013 11-09-35 3264x4928

..which overlooks the valley..

Provence 2013 29-06-2013 11-15-48 4334x3228

A window peeking from above a fig tree..Provence 2013 29-06-2013 11-30-09 3212x4619

Lavenders on the windowsill..

Provence 2013 29-06-2013 11-30-40 3232x3005

A cloche against a perfect Provencal sky…Provence 2013 29-06-2013 11-46-17 3238x3877And lastly,  a sunset goodbye …

Provence 2013 28-06-2013 21-39-53 4050x3223

So, with these images it is back to reality here at Coin Perdu, where summer is in full swing..and I don’t want it to end!

à la prochaine

Ronelle

Roasted red pepper tart..and lavenders of Provence I..

Red peppers are synonym with the Mediterranean and it is one of my favorite vegetables, raw or otherwise. We grow them in our potager(vegetable garden) rows of them..and they find their way to our table in every way possible. Une petite tarte, using ready made puff pastry or home made if you are so handy or ordered from your boulanger, which is how I prefer to  do it, is one way of serving these delicious vegetables.

Red pepper tart 03-07-2013 14-38-18 3613x3025

La recette:

  1. Wash  4 red peppers.
  2. Remove the seeds and cut them into thin strips. Place in an ovenproof dish and drizzle liberally with olive oil. Season with salt and milled black pepper. Add three twigs of fresh rosemary and two lemon wedges.
  3. Roast in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  5. Roll out 4 rectangles of puff pastry to about 1mm thick and 8x16cm long. Roll the sides to the inside to form a little rolled side. Prick the inside with a fork, cover with some baking paper and weigh down with baking beans. Bake in a preheated oven at 200° C for 10 minutes, remove the beans and bake for another 5 minutes.
  6. Arrange the roasted peppers on the prepared pastry shells. Add some cubed or crumbed feta cheese and dry roasted pine nuts. Sprinkle with red pepper corns and drizzle the pan juices from the roasted red peppers over the filling. Add some rosemary twigs and place under the grill for about 7 -10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and serve warm with a dollop of créme fraîche and a  large green salad.

Serves 4 people

Pincée de fleur de sel:

  • Use courgettes instead of red peppers, or a mixture of both.
  • Add some halved spring onions to the red peppers before roasting.
  • Use goats cheese instead of feta cheese.
  • Serve with homemade balsamic sorbet.
  • Spoon some pesto on the base of the pastry shell before adding the red peppers.
  • Turn into a dessert by spooning some sweetened mascarpone cheese on the bottom of the pastry shell, cover with red peppers and drizzle with honey and chopped mint.

Red pepper tart 03-07-2013 10-54-54 2730x2269

..the lavenders of Provence..

Mon chéri treated me to a couple of days in Provence. I don’t have to say anything, except that it was pure joy. It was so short, but my senses were alive to its maximum every minute.

Apart from the wonderful Provencal sun, the delicious meals on sunny terraces, the Provencal rosé wines, I did indeed manage to complete 7 sketches, while mon chéri patiently waited and used the time to play chess. Since our time was so short, I didn’t want to spend too much time on sketching though, so all I wanted was to capture a bit of the ambiance of our short stay. I think I  achieved that and I  am so chuffed. So chuffed indeed. If you’d like to see the sketches, you can pop over to Africantapestry.

I love lavender. Just simply love it. Not in foods. Not in soaps. Not in perfumes. not in my closets. But in pots and in the fields and gardens. That is the only place I can appreciate its fragrance, which is too strong and overpowering anywhere else. But the joy of lavender and its fragrance in a field or in a garden…nothing else comes close.

If only I could pass along the fragrance with these images…but it is all up to you and your imagination. Stretch out your hand and touch the blooms, hear the bees, see the butterflies, sniff the air, feel the sun and dwell in the heady fragrance…

Provence 2013 28-06-2013 13-31-25 4928x3264

The soil varies between the different fields, but they all have three things in common…altitude, sun and poor soil.

Provence 2013 28-06-2013 13-33-13 4928x3264

A lavender field snaking over the hill into a row of Provence cypress.

Provence 2013 28-06-2013 13-44-51 4928x3264

At the abbaye de Senanque, the lavenders aren’t fully open yet, it being a different variety. But I love the faded blue which harmonizes with the gentle quietude of the abbaye and the greys of its old stone building.Provence 2013 28-06-2013 14-22-24 4928x3264

Some homes with their “designer entrances”.Provence 2013 29-06-2013 10-27-12 4928x3264

A beautiful salmon coloured mas with its field of lavender and adjacent vineyard.Provence 2013 29-06-2013 10-50-08 4928x3264

Small fields, larger, tiny, among wheat, beside the roads…everywhere.

Provence 2013 28-06-2013 13-34-10 4928x3264

Where there is lavender, there you’ll find bees and butterflies!

Provence 2013 29-06-2013 10-52-27 2751x3051

Green vines, purple lavenders and red soil…the colours of Provence.

Provence 2013 29-06-2013 10-53-40 4928x3264

One of my favorite photos with a scene of all my favorite things..nature with its rocky area, the olive grove, the lavender, the hills, the colors, the smells..

Provence 2013 28-06-2013 14-27-43 4198x3244

A quilt of color in the valley just below Bonnieux; lavender fields, wheat fields and vineyards.

Provence 2013 29-06-2013 11-41-44 4928x3264

*Keep an ear to the ground for the next post on Provence..until then..

à bientôt!

Ronelle

Desserts and moments from Provence.

I’ve been back from Provence for some time,  but very busy at my gallery(which I’ll talk about in a next post).

I’ve suddenly come down with a terrible gastro and I’ve been like a limp fish the last two days. but I need to get up an just move a little, so I thought it good to recall some moments from my painting trip.

I can’t face food at the  moment, but I can show you the lovely desserts we had at Le vieux Four, in Crillon le Brave.

…apricot soup…

…French cheesecake with red berry coulis…

…red fruit sorbets…

More photos can be seen here in my gallery, Beauty of la France and  Paintings can be found  on Africantapestry…posts More paintings from Provence, Paintings from Provence and Two oil paintings and a gouache.

Our home away from home…the lovely home of artist, Julian Merrow Smith from Postcard from Provence.

…the view on Mont Ventoux  from my room

...early mornings in pj’s around painting, coffee and croissants…

…my afternoon painting in progress…

Sarah’s early morning oil painting in progress…

Robyn’s watercolor in progress…

Katherine’s pencils…

..a gathering of Provenceaux in Bédoin…

…when the market is quiet…

…Pizza anyone?…

…The closest I got to lavender…

…au revoir et à bientôt!…