Weekly photo challenge: Changing seasons – changing food

By: roughseasinthemed

Dec 08 2012

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Food, Photography, Vegetarian


Focal Length:5.8mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

The sudden drop in temperatures, the sharp wind, the quick fumble to drag out big pullovers, thick socks, boots, and even the big winter coat – they mark the changing seasons from warm to cool, or hot to cold, depending on how you view it.

Or wet to dry, but that isn’t how our seasons work here.

Changing seasons is also marked by a change in food. No more chilled gazpacho or vichyssoise. It’s time for warming winter soups. Especially when suffering from colds (as we both are).

So far:

• carrot and tomato
• cauliflower
• broccoli
• French onion soup

And this is the one in the pic.


Olive oil
White wine



Cook lots of onions gently in olive oil.

Add stock and white wine. I used plain yeast extract for stock as it gives a good strong flavour to complement the sweetness of the onions.

The wine was whatever was kicking around in the fridge, a Pinot Grigot on offer at Morrisons for around £4 I think. It doesn’t need a lot, say a glass?

Cook bread in oven. This is important. Do not use toast. Cooking it gently in the oven dries it out and crisps it up without browning it like toast. Chuck a couple of slurps of olive oil onto bread. I was using a brown bread, so it prevents it drying out too much, and rapidly absorbs the oil and the flavour.

Crush a clove of garlic and smear both sides of bread with the cut clove. Add grated cheese if you have a cheese-eating partner. (Morrisons organic cheddar)

Put back in oven for the cheese to cook slightly and then add to bowl of soup. Either on top, or at the bottom and pour soup on top of tasty toastie.

Other options are to add brandy (which we never buy), or an egg liaison or even more cheese and finish the whole lot under the grill.

But as I like simple, this did it for me. And yes, I know, the bowl is chipped and the onions are draped over the edge. Who cares? I had better things to do than spend hours taking photographs of onion soup!

Gazpacho recipe is on roughseas recipe pages.

Summer soup - chilled gazpacho

Summer soup – chilled gazpacho


13 comments on “Weekly photo challenge: Changing seasons – changing food”

  1. Your soup looks delicious, and yes, perfect for a cold winter day…..mmmmmm!
    I hadn’t noticed the chip in the bowl, nor the escapee onions, I was totally focused on the bread with cheese 🙂


    • Damn! Maybe I should remove those comments, only added them as an afterthought before anyone else pointed it out 😀

      As the weather isn’t noticeably different here, ok maybe the light is but we have glorious sunshine and blue skies today, the change in food struck me as more of a marker than the weather. Keeping warm inside in all respects I guess.

      And as I had taken a piccy of it, figured it would serve (so to speak). The toasty breads were yummy. Even though I didn’t bother with cheese on mine, just olive oil and garlic it was still nom nom. Curry is called for today – that is def all-weather food 🙂


  2. yummy, I love french onion soup 🙂

    We’ve just had a Paella for tea despite it being freezing outside 😉 and just to add that touch of mediterranean feel, E even baked some fresh bread (a plait no less!) and she served it on a wooden board at the table with a pat of butter for us to help ourselves 🙂

    PS. What do you add the brandy too – the soup or the bread? or both 😉
    (E refuses to buy any spirits for cooking with these days as invariably I drink them before she has chance to use them…..)


    • yummy 😀

      I like it too though, veg soups are so simple and easy to make, and there is so much variety.

      I tend to eat paella mainly when fresh peas are available – so that’s basically twice a year (spring and autumn). Although looking at my paella recipe page, I seem to make it most of the year!! http://roughseasinthemed.wordpress.com/recipes/spanish-food/paella/

      A plait is very impressive. I’ve not tried making one of those, probably won’t either. I made a load of bread when we had the Rayburn (!) but make less now. I do like foccaccia with olives and white wine though.

      The brandy goes in the soup just before dishing up. We don’t buy them either, brandy would prob be the most useful, and I loathe the stuff for drinking. We buy anis to marinate grapes in, and vodka for toothache. At the moment we have nothing in, which is the norm 😀


  3. […] viewing roughseas post on onion soup topped with the cheese on toast, the cheese in my fridge started shouting at me, ‘mmm, just […]


  4. This is fantastic, I have been wanting to make an onion soup but an unfussy version (as I prefer all soups that way). I’ve seen the TV chefs make it and they make the process appear complex, so I’ve felt daunted… And, although it is summer and our weather is supposed to be getting warmer it’s not, so if we do get cool wetaher at TA during our holidays this will make a great lunch, and I was told one of the lcoal farmers has a bumper crop of onions. I love that you use yeats extract & white wine, as this is the brothy but sweet outcome I am looking for. Onions are a great remedy for colds – I hope you are both on the mend 🙂


    • I aim to please 🙂 The recipe is from one of my oldest and very favouritest books – Mastering the Art of French Cooking. You would expect therefore, that everything they do would be fiddly and complicated (somethings are – their moussaka for example is divine), but they also do extremely simple recipes. Their method was somewhat longer than mine, but in essence it is the same. You can obv use butter if you prefer it to olive oil, apart from my ethics, I like the flavour (again slightly robust but not too much so) rather than the rich flavour from butter. I think I used about five small-medium onions say around a pound for two?

      The recipe adds salt and 1/4 tspn of sugar to the onions while doing gently, the sugar allegedly to help them brown, but they brown without it, however you may wish to add some 😉 When the onions are ready it also adds flour to thicken the base before the stock goes in, but I rarely do that these days, it only changes consistency not flavour. And it uses brown stock, or beef bouillon, which is why I thought the yeast extract a good substitute. I would guess vegemite would do it well 😀

      If you want the exact recipe, let me know and I’ll mail you. Otherwise I think this should serve unless you are strict reciparian.


  5. i didn’t notice the chip on the bowl either – i actually had to go looking for it. and the escaping onions escaped my notice, too 🙂
    i am not a super big onion fan, but anything with garlic usually wins me over. that melted, bubbly cheese on the bread looks very delish!


    • I wish I’d never mentioned that chip and the onions!! I thought it was so glaringly obvious that someone else would.

      Amazing you aren’t keen on onions but like garlic! Have to say I use both in virtually everything, and never just one clove either, it’s always 2, 3 or 4, depending on size and recipe.

      I didn’t bother with the cheese, the garlic on olive oil toast was just fine for me. But as he likes cheese sometimes, I’m happy to cook slightly differently.


      • you might want to go easy with the garlic when you are making cream of mushroom soup. actually, go easy on the yoghurt. and the pesto 🙂


        • That’s interesting, I don’t think I put it in mushroom now you mention it. I don’t use yoghurt or pesto in it either! In fact, mostly I don’t do cream of anything soup because A is not too keen on cream soups (he doesn’t like milk so anything that even vaguely looks as though it might have milk in puts him off. I tend to do mushroom more like a broth – a bit like the onion once actually. I like cream soups though 🙂


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