“Colours have a distinctive beauty that you just have to preserve, just as you have to capture the unique sounds of music. It is a question of finding an arrangement that will capture their beauty and freshness” Henri Matisse
Matisse talks this way about colours and music... somehow I use the same words when I talk about food ......and many like me do too. Because food, art and music are all interconnected - they all stimulate our senses, they all touch our emotions.
It’s not clear whether Matisse loved to cook but a letter he wrote in 1938 to the French writer Marie Dormoy tells us about a dish that was one of his favourites ... fish soup!
One can imagine a day in Matisse’s life ... rising at dawn to take advantage of the light, painting with gusto, using extravagant colours and strong brush movements, stopping for ONLY one large meal at midday and then ....... his siesta and maybe his dreams ......of his next masterpiece?
I encourage you all my darlings to connect with the spirit of Matisse through the richness of colours, the feel of brushes, a mouth watering cooking experience, some cool French music and, of course, a France themed movie like “A year in Provence” or “A good year” - both of course influenced by a very talented writer, Peter Mayle. ( I loved the books as well)
The fish soup I’m suggesting below is very easy to make and absolutely delicious. I look forward to hearing about your experience ...
Here is what you need to purchase:
1.5 Tbsp olive oil
1 leek chopped
1 medium onion finely chopped 1 garlic clover finely chopped
1 tomato finely chopped
a pinch of fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
a piece of orange peel
600 g assorted shellfish
450 g water
First, heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, add the leaks, onion, garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato and cook for 4 more minutes. Add the fennel, bay leaf, orange peel, half of the shellfish, water, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and strain through a strainer ... use a spoon to press all liquid out of the solids. Discard them after that. Return the remaining broth to the pot and bring to a boil adding the remaining shellfish, saffron and noodles and cook for 8 more minutes.
Serve with a lovely piece of oven fresh French baguette! Bon appetit!