When McDonald’s opened a franchise in Lebanon a few years ago, I felt indignation, contempt, anger and frustration. I just could not understand how my fellow Lebanese who had always been so keen on good food and fresh ingredients would patronize the king of fast foods. Reality has set in and now that there are several McDonald’s (as well as Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Dunkin donuts etc) franchises in the country, I have become more placid about the whole affair.
So much so that the other day, as I was walking home, passing by the American University of Beirut (AUB), I glanced at the McDonald’s window, and lo and behold, saw something I did not expect: our very own biscuit au chocolat, as well as other sweets, an espresso machine and a sign: McCafé.
I walked in and asked the young man ” What is going on? Is this really McDonald’s? “He handed me a leaflet and said ” Lady, these McCafés are all over, even in America”.
I had to try my childhood’s most favorite renamed at McDonald’s Lazy Cake. It was actually good (hate to admit it), save for the glaze which was no ganache, of course.
However, their latest McArabia sandwich, a pseudo gyro with reheated frozen chicken patties was inedible.
But going back to real food, and pumpkins which have started to appear this season; with the first whiff of fresh air, soup was in order.
Less is more when it comes to pumpkin soup; this pumpkin soup is velvety, sweet and smooth. Yet it has not a trace of sugar, nor cream.
- 2 pounds of fresh pumpkin
- 1 white onion
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1 cube of chicken Maggi or 4 cups of chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- salt, pepper to taste
- Chop the onion fine. Clean the pumpkin of all the filaments, separate the seeds and clean them under running water.
- Sprinkle the seeds with salt and roast in a slow oven or dry in a sunny spot. (this step is optional, but highly recommended, as pumpkin seeds are full of health benefits)
- Melt the butter, add the onion and fry gently for 4 minutes. Add the pumpkin, cut in coarse chunks and fry for a few minutes.
- Add the water and bouillon cube or chicken stock as well as the cinnamon, salt and pepper. Simmer for 45 minutes.
- Cool the soup till lukewarm and process in a blender till smooth, adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with the roasted pumpkin seeds.
Click here for a biscuit au chocolat or Lazy Cake recipeor chocolate salami recipe.
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