Other Meals at French Lunch: Soups and Meats
The previous article explored French Lunch’s foundational dinner options: the ones that we think you’ll enjoy the most for your final meal of the day. But there are actually more dishes available for you to choose from, like a variety of soups, meat dishes, seafood dishes, and vegetarian meals, all of which are oven-ready and microwave-ready (just make sure you read the instructions on the labels so you know which appliance to use!). Our meals are easy enough for kids to prepare, so there’s really no way you can mess them up. Just pay attention to your cooking times, and you’re good to go.
To begin with, our offerings include an excellent bouillabaisse soup imported from France. Bouillabaisse is a classic Provençal fish stew that originated in Marseille’s fishing community. Bouillabaisse combines three or more fish with a broth of vegetables like tomatoes, onions, leeks, and herbs with rouille sauce on top. Although we don’t carry rouille, you can use aioli instead. Or you can experiment with other condiments in our pantry if you feel adventurous. In Marseille, each eatery has its own take on bouillabaisse. You can’t go wrong with this dish.
If you want something old-fashioned, have our French onion soup with baked cheese on bread. Ours is straightforward: just beef broth, onions, butter, olive oil, herbs and cheeses. A bit of red wine is added in during cooking to accentuate flavours.
Do you love beer? Then treat yourself to our cheddar beer soup, made with actual beer (yup, really). Like wine, beer can be a great cooking ingredient, and that’s why 16th century European monarchs ended up having beer soup for breakfast every day. We’ve added aged cheddar cheese to our beer soup for better taste, as well as traditional French Dijon mustard, carrots, onions, and garlic.
If you want a soup without animal products, try out our Borsch soup, which is only made with beetroot, potatoes, carrots, onions, kidney beans, tomatoes, herbs, and spices. It’s a strikingly beautiful dark red in colour and makes for a nice photograph (Instagram addicts, you know what I’m talking about!).
Feel homesick or just plain sick? Cheer up by wolfing down our very own chicken noodle soup. Maybe not just like mom makes it, but hopefully quite close. Ours is a blend of chicken breast, broth, celery, carrots, onions, herbs, and gluten-free pasta in case you’re allergic.
A wholesome alternative to chicken noodle soup is cream of mushroom soup, which lacks the meats but does have milk in it for creaminess. Add in a dash of white wine, Portobello mushrooms, onions and chives, and you’ll instantly warm up.
Our signature meat dishes are beef provençal and coq au vin, two extremely famous French stews that are eaten throughout the year. But we also have five other ready-to-eat fresh meals in our Meat & Poultry section.
Like our tiger shrimp and saffron paella cooked and packaged in-store. Paella is an ancient Spanish rice dish that is oftentimes served as a huge community feast — in fact, the largest paella ever recorded was 21 metres in diameter! Our paella is only fit for one or two people, but we think you’ll enjoy it just as much as a huge paella at your family’s next reunion. We use chicken thighs, basmati rice, red peppers, garlic, onion, and of course, tiger shrimps and saffron.
Looking for sandwich meats? Our cooked-in-store rôti de porc braised with garlic and herbs may excite you. We slow-cook the meat for 8 hours so it's very tender and excellent both warm, and cold.
Finally, we have two uncommon dishes that you might struggle to find elsewhere: hachis Parmentier and Toulouse sausage casserole.
Hachis Parmentier is essentially the French version of Shepherd’s pie. While Shepherd’s pie is a traditional English dish, Hachis Parmentier was actually named for the nutritionist (Parmentier) that invented it — Parmentier created it to urge the use of potatoes in France during the 18th century. Just like Parmentier desired, we also want to instill good eating habits in our community. Our Hachis Parmentier is made with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, potatoes, milk, and cheddar cheese. We encourage you to eat it bit by bit, in small portions, and to grab a forkful of a vegetable side with each bite of hachis. Your waist will thank you.
Before we end the article, let’s go over the Toulouse-style casserole, a lean pork casserole made with mild Italian sausages. Our recipe is based off the French cassoulet, a slow-cooked casserole composed of sausage, other meats, and some vegetables. Our casserole has eggplants, tomatoes, and red wine, in addition to the usual onions and garlic. If you often find yourself buying hot dogs from food stands on busy streets, give this gourmet sausage stew a shot.
In the next article, we’ll examine French Lunch’s seafood and vegetarian selections, alongside the cheeses and cheese spreads we’ve stocked our pantry with.
Stay tuned, and, as always, we look forward to feeding you,
- Nina Zaitseva