Monday, 17 March 2008

oui, it's ouillade

A previous conversation.

'What are we having this evening?'

'Ouillade.'

'Oui-what?'

'Ouillade. Oui-ARD. But with a soft d. And spelled A-D-E at the end.'

'Right. And what the flying *?&! is weeard when it's at home?'

'It's a kind of soup, you ignoramus.'

'Oh, terrific. Sell it to me, why don't you? Any other compelling reason I should come home tonight?'

'Yes, it's Wednesday. So it's Torchwood on telly.'

'I'm getting my coat.'

Ouillade, my friends, is the kind of thing that will never sell itself to a crowd. If you don't frighten your diners off (particularly if they're rampant carnivores) with the mention of cabbage, you might just do so with the word 'beans'. Your only hope is to give a big shout out for the bacon. So perhaps shout 'BACON!' bacon first, and whisper the other two quickly afterwards.

So that's the essence of ouillade - cabbage, beans, and bacon (or ham). It's less of a soup, really - more an entire meal in a bowl. There are as many versions of ouillade around as there are excuses for coming home late, so I'm not going to bore you with the long-hand version of mine. (Google is your friend.) All I'll say is that I used carrots and potato in with my soffrito of shallots, carrots and celery, puy lentils instead of beans, and bacon instead of ham hock. The cabbage is the traditional savoy cabbage. Other than that, my top tip is to use the best stock you can make or buy - it needs to have a good, deep, rich flavour. A thin stock won't give the oomph the ouillade really needs. It's got to be gutsy - warming, tasty, and full of flavour. So that the carnivores don't complain.

If they do, tell them they can get their coat.


ouillade 1




ouillade 2

33 comments:

Sylvie said...

I have to admit I'm an ignoramus too. I've never before heard of ouillade, but gotta say it looks great.

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Looks really yummy! Yeah, pronouncing it seems slightly difficult lol.

Kevin said...

This is the first that I have heard of Ouillade. It looks nice and fresh and green.

Cynthia said...

I think that if you consider yourself a true friend that you would give me some of that Ouillade because I think that that is exactly what I need to make me feel better with this miserable cold I have.

michelle @ TNS said...

i've never heard of this either, and won't even try to say it out loud - my 6+ years of french were an entire waste. but it looks fantastic. you had me at "bacon."

Pixie said...

I've yet to hear about oillade as well, but it certainly looks wonderful! oh and wasn't torchwood good last week- i usually, don't know what's going on

Nick said...

Sounds good to me. Never heard of it but I love lentils and can seldom find a use for them other than lentil soup...and you gotta love beans, who doesn't?

- The Peanut Butter Boy

Antonia said...

I've not yet discovered this wonderful looking hearty soup. You make it look seriously tempting. Fortunately I love cabbage, beans AND bacon so I'd certainly race home for this!

Naomi Devlin said...

Just thought I'd mention another good reason for returning home in good time on a wednesday - this is unfortunately only relevant to lovers of 'Flight of The Conchords' (TV show of the New Zealand double act Bret and Jermaine)

Because wednesday night is business night... if you know what I mean?

Pixie said...

what you need to serve with your soup are cheese and marmite scones!!!!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Very funny, Pixie. As in NOT.

Put Marmite anywhere near my ouillade, and I'm afraid you and I will no longer be on speaking terms.

You understandin' me?? ;)

Melinda said...

Ouillade is new to me too. I think is sounds delicious.
(I wish Torchwood wasn't on the telly. It always seems to be on.)

Indigo said...

I've never heard of ouillade, but this looks great (although having said that, I would come home for Torchwood regardless...) ^__^

David Hall said...

oui madame! j'adore ouillade

Heather said...

Heck, I've been making this soup for years and never knew it had a fancy French name. :)

Shandy said...

This looks absolutely delicious, and I love the presentation that this dish offers! Yes! If no one cooked out of what is noted as "normal" where would our food choices be today? I am definitely printing this recipe to try while we have really cold weather this week. Thank you for enlightening us and widening our horizons. . .=D

Johanna said...

have never heard of it but it intrigues me - am sure it could be made vegetarian very easily - and your beautiful photo is so enticing

Johanna said...

PS - I am jealous you get to watch torchwood - and it probably isn't buried late at night by a commercial station like it is here!

Cakelaw said...

LOL - I think you should just show the punters a picture of it and they will love it.

Rosie said...

Ouillade this is new to me too but it looks really great. Oooh torchwood it's a must in my house to watch too.

Rosie x

Mike of Mike's Table said...

I'd also never heard of ouillade, but you had me at bacon ;-)

Annemarie said...

I'm familiar with both those one-pot wonders and the need to sex them up with a bit of bacon. I've added a new word, then, to my beany cabbage soup predilections!

Margaret said...

I love bowl food and yours looks very inviting. Beautiful photographs.

lorraine@italianfoodies said...

yep this would make me feel better, do you do family size for a sick Italian family??:)

Great Big Veg Challenge said...

I love it - and I hadnt heard of its name...
Delicious.
And please send Cynthia some !

Manggy said...

Goodness, bring it on, that looks delightful. Cabbage? Good. Beans? Good. Bacon? Good!!! :D
Of course, I am an omnivore, so it's really not a big deal :)

Celine Asril of Black.Salt said...

wee-yah! looks so delicious! it's the perfect recipe for a cold afternoon at home, and has it been cold! and I agree - carnivores who complain can get their coat ;)

Lachefderouge said...

beautifully done :) I would eat that anyday :)

Peabody said...

What gorgeous colors!!!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Cynthia - I hope you're feeling better now...

Pixie - Torchwood rocks!

Naomi - not been watching FotC, but I'll take it on good authority!

Melinda - the fact that Torchwood always seems to be on is a GOOD thing...

Heather - well, there you go. A new word for you to play with ;)

Indigo - yeah, you and me both!

Johanna - sorry... ;)

Rosie - good stuff. Have we got enough members for a club, yet?

Lorraine - I can do the portions, but it might look so good by the time it's shipped out to you...

Manggy - how you doing?

All those I haven't picked out - thanks for your comments, and it's always good to see you here. You're a fab bunch!

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Spice Rack said...

It's like pork - vegetable dish with everything on it. I really love it and I know I'll be full if I am going to eat that.

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