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french onion soup

french onion soup

french onion soup

The other day I read that Viresh Maharaj, CEO of Sanlam Employee Benefits: Client Solutions said, “if the middle class was a country it would be relegated to junk status.” Phew, this is startling, he goes on to say that 46,46% of the people who participated in Sanlam’s Annual Benchmark Survey, could not meet their financial commitments. Naturally, this causes considerable financial stress…and I have to tell you I feel that pain too.

To what can this be attributed, I ask? Should we blame Zuma because he showed Pravin the door? Actually, we have only ourselves to blame for the simple reason that we to often choose to live beyond our means. Short-term debt such as credit cards, motor payments and personal loans is the very source of this financial stress. Sigh.

I too decided to investigate why my credit card was going through the roof – and it was easy to see why. A convenience store such as Woolworths is eating away at my credit card. I just want to buy a bag of tomatoes, but fifteen minutes later, I have R600 worth of groceries! Times this by four and again by twelve and that’s R4 800 debit on your credit card over a 12 month period!
Just like that. #MoreStress.

With the onions being plentiful, my Irishman whipped up a wonderful French Onion soup. Low carb and all. The rich flavours of the onion soup were rounded off with a cabbage and parmesan crouton. Talk about innovation.

If there ever was a time to tighten the belt and take responsibility for your financial future, that time is now. Being more economical with your grocery purchases does not mean you have to go hungry – just be smart with your money. If you are wise you can still eat like a king – and with less financial stress you will be able to sleep better and live better.

French onion soup with cabbage and parmesan crouton
(serves 6)
30 ml olive oil
50 g (55 ml) butter
1.3 kg onions, cut into rings
handful of fresh thyme, leaves picked
6 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 bay leaf
1.3 chicken stock
salt
black pepper
Cabbage and parmesan crouton
60 g cabbage, finely sliced
60 g parmesan, grated

Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion, thyme, garlic and bay leaf and stir well until covered in oil and butter. Reduce heat and cook for 25-30 minutes with lid on. Stir occasionally. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Without lid simmer for 25 minutes. Heat oven to 180 °C. Divide the cabbage into six individually buttered ramekins and place the parmesan on each. Bake for 20 minutes or until brown on top. Ladle soup into soup bowls. Carefully take the crouton out of the ramekin (I used a spoon) and place on top of soup. Serve immediately.

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pink peppercorn strawberry jam = a berry marriage made in heaven

pink peppercorn strawberry jam = a berry marriage made in heaven

pink peppercorn strawberry jam delicious, scone with strawberry jam

I have written about white pepper before but today I want to dedicate this page to a lovely pink lady – the pink peppercorn. She is somewhat of a foxy, seductive siren. Always dressed up and ready for any occasion … wonderfully pink with so many fabulous and flavourful guises. Who would have thought that she is actually a type of dried berry with a peppery taste and not technically a peppercorn? Her French name is “baie rose” – translated in English to pink berry.

I decided to combine two berries together – the strawberry and the pink peppercorn. This is undoubtedly one of the better combinations I have tasted. It is sophisticated – the sweet and tartness of the strawberry jam dallied with the ever-tempting pepperiness of the pink peppercorn. It is kind of like the Thelma and Louise of the berry world, a wicked pairing of the unconventional with the traditional – if you like pop it on a scone, add a fresh strawberry, a dash of sour cream and a finish it with an extra peppercorn or two … taste how the taste is catapulted into another dimension.

strawberry - pink peppercorn strawberry jam

pink peppercorn strawberry jam

Strawberries are in season … so get out there an get some … a jar of pink peppercorn strawberry jam will make a special gift … but warn your gran first – as the taste could blow her socks off!

pink pepper corn strawberry jam - christmas gift

Note: I use half the normal amount of sugar (I don’t like the jam being too sweet), always add a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

pink peppercorn strawberry jam
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: Makes 500ml jam
Ingredients
  • 800g Strawberries – cut into halves
  • 400g Sugar
  • 2 ½ t Pink peppercorns
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in pot. Put on low heat until the sugar has melted and starts to boil.
  2. Then put on medium-high and cook for 25 minutes.
  3. If foam has formed on the top of the jam just scoop it off if necessary.
  4. Bottle in jars or just tuck in.

 

 


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