Fish Soup

IMG_3322IMG_3323One of my favorite things about Paris is how good the food is EVERYWHERE (or almost everywhere). You don’t have to visit one of the “fancy” restaurants, or go to the newest hole-in-the-wall tiny place opened by the latest avant-garde chef (though that is always a fun outing too!).

You can do what we did on a recent trip, and just go down to the corner café. Le Baromètre is our local hangout, owned and run by several young men who are incredibly nice, welcoming, and who also happen to serve really good food.

Upon arrival, I always first check the specials of the day, and this particular night, the special was fish soup “avec rouille.” (Okay, what in the heck did that mean?) Well, it turns out that a “rouille” is a sauce, made with olive oil, breadcrumbs, garlic, saffron and chili peppers. It is commonly served as a garnish for fish soup (I have to admit that I had never been served it before). If you look at the picture above, it’s the low bowl at the left, next to the swiss cheese and behind the homemade croutons. So…. the process is this– you crumble some of the cheese and the croutons into the soup, you then take a spoonful of soup, and before you bring it to your mouth, you dip the end of your spoon in the rouille and THEN take a blissful mouthful. Pause, enjoy the various flavors combining in your mouth– fish, cream, cheese, crouton, and finally the rouille which adds a little garlic and “je ne sais quoi” that makes it PERFECT. Absolutely delicious! Of course, to drink with my fish soup, I took their suggestion of a medium dry, white wine from their home region (I meant to take picture of the bottle, but unfortunately didn’t so I can’t tell you where it was from.) But I can tell you it was one I had not tried before, and it was the exact right accompaniment. What a wonderful benefit to going to a familiar place. I knew that I would not be steered wrong on my choices. Of course, I had to finish the meal with his mother’s homemade clafoutis, which is a dessert made up of black cherries, covered by a buttery flan-like batter.

When is the last time you had a meal like that at your local restaurant??

Edits are complete!

I am very happy to report that my edits are now finished for Book #2, “Reunion.” It’s set in Paris and Burgundy and is the story of a 25-year college reunion.

Melanie Russell wants to get her group of girlfriends from their grad school days back together, and she wants it to be a “girls only” trip. She and Gary, her husband, aren’t getting along and she needs some time away to figure out why. Julie is living in London and though she loves her life, she’s lonely for some male companionship. Could she find romance in Paris? Gigi now lives in Italy. She misses the camaraderie the women shared back in Boston. Can she persuade Paolo, her Italian husband, to let her go without him? Angie longs to visit Europe again, and her daughters are now off to college. Can she get over her own insecurities and go on her own? Emily has just retired from teaching and would love a fun trip to start the Fall off right, but she had a big falling out with the rest of the women and they haven’t spoken for twenty years. Can they all be friends again?

And of course, there’s the rest of the group: Sam, and Greg, and Todd, and John, who’ve all come on the trip without their spouses; Roger and Dawn; and Nellie and Bob. And Joelle and Michel, the two professors who are the “hosts.” Twenty-five people in total. An interesting group who will all spend a week together in Paris, with a day and night in Burgundy to learn more about wine-making and wine-tasting.

Who wouldn’t want to go?

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