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François Barraud | La Tailleuse de Soupe | Rustic Onion Soup

 François Barraud | La Tailleuse de Soupe In "La Tailleuse de Soupe," a painting from 1933 by François Barraud, we witness a scene imbued with mystery and a touch of surrealism, both characteristics that pervade many of Barraud's works. The title originates from the French verb "tailler" which means "to cut" or "to carve". This painting captures an intriguing domestic moment. A young girl, adorned with a large orange ribbon, sits at a table where a large steaming tureen of soup sits. She gazes at the viewer with a somewhat sullen expression, while across from her, her mother, seemingly in a cheerful mood, cuts slices of bread with a distinct smile. The narrative preceding this scene remains unknown. We're left to speculate what might have led to the young girl's mood, her refusal to watch the near-dismemberment of the loaf of bread that her mother enthusiastically carves into thin slices, presumably to accompany the hot soup soon to b

August Macke | The Tunis Market | Couscous with Vegetables and Raisins

 August Macke | The Tunis Market

"Market in Tunis" by August Macke is a vibrant and colorful painting that captures the bustling atmosphere of a North African market in the city of Tunis. In this piece, Macke showcases his unique style by utilizing bold, vivid colors and dynamic shapes to portray the lively scene.

The painting features a multitude of market stalls, each with its own array of colorful wares, fruits, vegetables, and textiles. The canvas is filled with a diverse range of people, both vendors and customers, dressed in traditional Tunisian clothing. The figures are depicted in various poses, as they interact, haggle, and exchange goods with each other. The market is a lively place, filled with the sounds of conversation and the fragrances of spices and fresh produce.

The strong use of color and the expressive, gestural brushstrokes add a sense of movement and energy to the scene, making the viewer feel as though they are part of the bustling market.



August Macke (1887-1914) was a German Expressionist painter and a key member of the early 20th century avant-garde movement known as Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). He was born in Meschede, Germany, and studied art in both Düsseldorf and Munich.

Macke's artistic style was heavily influenced by the works of French Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, and Fauvists, especially the use of vivid colors and the exploration of light. He was particularly inspired by the works of Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, and Robert Delaunay. Macke's paintings often depict everyday scenes with bold colors, simplified forms, and rhythmic compositions. His subjects range from landscapes and urban scenes to still lifes and portraits.

In 1911, Macke became friends with fellow artist Franz Marc, and they, along with other artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter, founded Der Blaue Reiter. This group sought to express their individual and collective emotions through their artwork, focusing on the use of color and abstract forms. The group's name was derived from Kandinsky's painting of a blue horseman.

Tragically, August Macke's promising career was cut short when he was killed in action during World War I at the age of 27. Despite his short life, Macke left a significant impact on the art world, and his work continues to be celebrated for its innovative use of color and his unique contribution to the Expressionist movement.


Recipe: Couscous with Vegetables and Raisins

Couscous is a traditional North African dish made from tiny granules of durum wheat semolina. Its origins can be traced back to the Berber people of the Maghreb region, which includes present-day Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya. The exact date of the dish's origin is uncertain, but it is believed to have been developed around the 7th to 9th centuries CE.

Couscous was initially prepared by hand, using a process that involved moistening and rolling the semolina with water, and then sieving it through a fine mesh to create the small granules. This labor-intensive process was an important part of the culinary tradition and was often a communal activity, with women in the community coming together to prepare couscous for special occasions.

The dish became an integral part of the Maghreb's culinary identity, and over time, its popularity spread to other regions, including West Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. Each region developed its own variations of couscous, incorporating local ingredients and flavors.


  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water or chicken/vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup raisins or golden raisins (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted 


  1. In a large heatproof bowl, pour the boiling water or broth over the couscous. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and let sit for 5 minutes, or until the couscous has absorbed the liquid. Fluff the couscous with a fork to separate the grains.

  2. In a large skillet or pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes.

  3. Add the diced bell peppers, zucchini, and carrot to the skillet. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

  4. Stir in the raisins (if using), ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground turmeric. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Cook for another 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

  5. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the cooked couscous, ensuring that the vegetables and spices are well mixed.

  6. Allow the couscous to cool slightly, then stir in the chopped cilantro or parsley, chopped mint, and toasted almonds.

  7. Serve the Moroccan couscous warm or at room temperature.

Additional information

Traditionally, couscous is steamed over a stew or broth, which allows the granules to absorb the flavors of the dish. The resulting fluffy, light texture is then served alongside meat, vegetables, or legumes, often with a sauce or broth. Couscous has also been adapted into sweet dishes, featuring ingredients like dried fruits, nuts, and honey.

In modern times, couscous has gained global popularity as a versatile and nutritious dish. It is often used as a substitute for rice or pasta, and pre-steamed, quick-cooking varieties have made it an easy and convenient option for busy households. Its adaptability to a wide range of flavors and ingredients has contributed to its continued appeal in contemporary cuisine.



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