Courgettes !

So it is only mid June and today we are already under siege from courgettes. From now until September it will be almost impossible to keep up with their ebullient production.

However few plants we decide to plant this always seems to be the case and today there were several that really should have been picked earlier and were slipping away towards their marrowy family friends.  

Soup seemed to be the answer and what a  simple pleasure  it was.

The purest of soups a  dollop of creamy Greek yogurt to which I added some chopped mint  and a slice of garlicky grilled pain de campagne is all it took to make this not yet too hot Sunday almost perfect.



2 tbs. Good olive oil

a knob of butter

1 kilo mixed yellow and green courgettes, roughly chopped

1/2 a young white onion, roughly chopped

1 very small clove of garlic, chopped

3 or 4 basil leaves

3 mint leaves

a sprig of chervil

salt and pepper

juice of half a large lemon

to serve

good Greek yogurt

4 or 5 small mint leaves, finely chopped

some thick slices of pain de campagne, rubbed with a clove of garlic , painted with olive oil and preferably grilled on a bbq


heat the oil and butter in a large pan, add the onion and sauté gently until soft

add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute

add the courgettes and cook over moderate heat, stirring

when they begin to soften and are giving off quite a lot of liquid add the herbs, and seasoning, continue to cook for another few minutes until the courgettes feel well cooked

tip into a Thermomix or liquidiser and blend for 1 minute

add boiling water to thin to taste, I like it quite thick

check seasoning , add the juice of half a lemon and serve with your minted yogurt and crunchy bread

Provence an update..





Last week after many years of cooking and laughing together my ex cooking partner Sindy gave me a gift.

Over the years there have been many gifts passed between us, lots of them relevant to that moment and none more so than this one.

Provence by Luke Barr an affectionate recollection of  the time his great-aunt MFK Forest spent in Provence in 1970.

In the late Autumn and winter of that year  she spent time with Julia Child and her husband Paul along with Simone Beck. They had just published the second volume of  the most influential cook book that I and any one else that really wanted to cook in that period regarded as our bible, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

She met and ate with Richard Olney also a Provence resident at that time along with James Beard and many others who were changing the face of how the world approached French food .

They planned meals for each other in a number of locations which highlighted their particular passion for the food of the area. Celebrating the seasonal ingredients and their rustic preparation.

I savored every page because I am on a similar journey.

Having cooked my way around the world for the past 10 years I have jumped ship and landed in the most beautiful place on earth.

Today as I type this first page of my new blog from my window is the view posted above and from the potager which is hiding from you in this particular photo I have picked baskets of broad beans, spinach, beetroot, courgettes, radishes, green beans, lettuce , strawberries and more.

What a harvest. And this is my new life which I plan to share with you.

Instead of the killer whales passing my window and the extraordinary tribesmen baring all I have the fascination of the seasons which here in Provence mutate weekly changing colors and temperatures as available produce as they go.

The seasons here are exhilarating and challenging.

Heat, wind , dryness and the dreaded gel are all waiting to trip you up but totally compensated for by  the bright leaves of the cherry orchards in  Autumn, the crisp sunny days in Winter when you can eat your lunch outside in the sun and then the abundance of spring and early summer.