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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

Johannes Vermeer | The Milkmaid | Bread Pudding with Almond Paste and Raisins

Johannes Vermeer | The Milkmaid

"Vermeer's Milkmaid" is an oil painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, created around 1658-1660. The painting measures 45.5 cm x 41 cm and is currently housed in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The artwork is also known as "The Kitchen Maid" or "The Milkmaid."

The painting features a young woman, dressed in a blue apron and a simple white cap, standing at a table in a sunlit corner of a kitchen. She is pouring milk from a large ceramic pitcher into a brass container. The focus of the composition is on the maid's concentration and the delicate handling of her task.

The scene is depicted with great attention to detail, capturing the texture of the materials and the play of light and shadow on various surfaces. The background is relatively dark, allowing the woman and her task to take center stage. Vermeer is known for his masterful use of light, and "The Milkmaid" is a prime example of his ability to imbue a simple scene with an almost magical quality.



Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) was a Dutch painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life during the Dutch Golden Age. He was born in Delft, Netherlands, and spent his entire life there. Vermeer is considered one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age, despite having produced a relatively small number of paintings, around 34 works attributed to him.

Vermeer's style is characterized by his skillful use of light and color, as well as his meticulous attention to detail. He often used a limited palette, with a preference for shades of blue, yellow, and gray. His subject matter mainly consists of scenes from everyday life, featuring women engaged in various domestic activities.

Vermeer was not well-known during his lifetime, and his works were primarily collected by a small circle of patrons. It was not until the 19th century that his art gained wider recognition, and he is now considered one of the most important painters in the history of Western art.

Recipe: Bread Pudding with Almond Paste and Raisins

The Dutch version (Broodpudding) typically consists of stale bread or leftover cake mixed with milk, eggs, sugar, and various spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. It may also include dried fruits, like raisins or currants, and sometimes even a splash of liquor, such as rum or brandy. Once the ingredients are combined, the mixture is baked until it becomes a dense, moist dessert. Dutch broodpudding is a comforting treat, especially during colder months, and is often served with a warm vanilla sauce or whipped cream.

The history of broodpudding in the Netherlands can be traced back to medieval times. It is an example of the age-old practice of using stale bread or leftover baked goods to create new dishes, so as not to waste food. In medieval European cookery, bread was often used as a thickener for soups and stews or as a base for various sweet and savory dishes.


  • 8 cups stale bread or leftover cake, cubed
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 7 oz (200g) almond paste
  • 4 cups (1L) whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional) 


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9x13-inch (23x33cm) baking dish.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the bread cubes and raisins.

  3. In a separate bowl, break up the almond paste into small pieces.

  4. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until it is steaming but not boiling. Remove from heat.

  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Gradually pour the warm milk into the egg mixture while whisking continuously.

  6. Pour the milk and egg mixture over the bread cubes and raisins. Add the almond paste pieces, and gently stir until well combined. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the liquid.

  7. Pour the bread pudding mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

  8. Remove from the oven and allow the bread pudding to cool slightly before serving. If desired, dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Additional information

Bread pudding is popular in many countries across the world, with each region having its own unique variations.

  • United States: Particularly in the southern states, bread pudding is a popular dessert, often served with bourbon or rum sauce.
  • United Kingdom: Bread and butter pudding is a British classic, made by layering slices of buttered bread with raisins and pouring a custard mixture over it before baking.
  • France: Pain perdu, or French toast, is a similar concept to bread pudding, where stale bread is soaked in a milk and egg mixture, then fried and served with syrup or powdered sugar.
  • Spain: Capirotada is a Mexican and Spanish version of bread pudding made with layers of bread, syrup, cheese, nuts, and dried fruits, typically served during Lent.
  • India: Shahi tukra is an Indian bread pudding made with fried bread soaked in sweetened milk and flavored with saffron and cardamom, garnished with nuts and dried fruits.
  • Egypt: Om Ali is an Egyptian dessert made from layers of puff pastry or phyllo dough, soaked in sweetened milk, and baked with nuts and raisins.
  • Argentina: Budín de pan is an Argentinean version of bread pudding, often flavored with orange zest and served with dulce de leche.


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