Vanilla pumpkin soup (6 servings)

2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 onions, peeled and cut in small cubes
2 kg of pumpkin (butter squash), peeled, cored and cut in pieces
Salt and pepper to spice
Broth to pour
1 tablespoon of vanilla essence or 1 of vanilla-bean


Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add in the onion and cook over medium-high heat for five minutes or until softened, stirring regularly. Add in the pumpkin, season with salt and pepper, and cook for ten minutes, stirring from time to time. Pour in hot water or stock to cover the vegetables and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract, or scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean and add in the bean itself as well. Cook for ten more minutes, or until the squash is tender. Fish out the vanilla bean if that's what you used, and purée the soup in a food processor or blender, or use an immersion blender. Adjust the seasoning and serve hot.

Tip 1: Serve the soup with 1 TL sour cream and freshly chopped coriander. Tip 2: Refine the soup at the end with 2-3 tablespoons of dry sherry.


Vanilla-Pumpkin-Soup (4 servings )

1 pumpkin
2 onions
1 leek
15g butter
1 chicken stock cube
1 l of water
50ml cream
100ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence or 1 Vanilla bean
Salt - Pepper

Cut pumpkin in cubes, slice the onions and leek.

Combine vegetables, chicken stock cube, water, salt and pepper in a soup pot, cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, bring milk to a boil & add the vanilla extract or in case you use a vanilla bean scrape it out and than add the seeds & the bean to the hot milk. Let infuse for 20 minutes.

Blend the vegetables in a food processor. Return to pot and warm over low heat. Add butter, cream and Vanilla infused milk. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

Crab Claws in a Champagne Vanilla Sauce (4 servings)

230 ml Champagne
4 Tbs minced shallots
1 vanilla-bean
120 ml cream
230 g of butter (in little pieces)
2 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of chopped chives
1 kg of crab claws
Salt to taste
freshly ground pepper
4 warm, blanched asparagus (green)

Heat a large non-reactive saute pan. When the pan is hot, add the champagne, 2 tablespoons of shallots, and the vanilla seeds. Cook for 4 minutes or until the liquid reduces to about 2 tablespoons then stir in the cream and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, whisk in the butter, a few cubes at a time. Remove the pan from the heat when all of the butter is incorporated.

In a saute pan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Add the claws and remaining shallots. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the sauce in the center and around the rim of the plate. Arrange the asparagus in the center of the sauce, forming a triangle. Mound the claws in the center of the sauce. Garnish with long chives and chopped chives