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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

Frederick George Cotman | One of the Family | Cottage Pie

 Frederick George Cotman | One of the Family

"One of the Family" is a painting by British artist Frederick George Cotman, created in 1880. The painting depicts a heartwarming domestic scene featuring a family gathered in their humble, rustic kitchen. A large, friendly dog is the focal point of the scene, sitting at the table with the family members as if it is also one of them.

The painting captures a sense of warmth and intimacy among the family members, with the dog's presence adding a touch of humor and highlighting the close bond between humans and their pets. The composition, with its focus on the everyday life of a working-class family, reflects the influence of the realist movement in art, which sought to portray ordinary people and their experiences.

The painting's color palette is dominated by earthy tones and soft, muted shades, giving the scene a natural and inviting atmosphere. The artist's attention to detail, from the textures of the wooden furniture to the various objects on the table, enhances the overall impression of a cozy, lived-in space where family members gather to share meals and enjoy each other's company.



Frederick George Cotman (1850-1920) was a British painter known for his realist and genre paintings. Born in Ipswich, England, he was a cousin of the more famous artist John Sell Cotman, who was an influential watercolorist and a prominent member of the Norwich School of painters.

Frederick George Cotman began his artistic training at the Ipswich School of Art and later studied at the South Kensington Schools in London. He exhibited his works at the Royal Academy, the Society of British Artists, and various other prestigious galleries and institutions. Cotman's paintings were characterized by their focus on everyday scenes and ordinary people, often depicting intimate, domestic interiors or rustic country life.

In addition to his genre paintings, Cotman also painted landscapes, portraits, and still lifes. His style was marked by a strong sense of realism and attention to detail, combined with a keen observation of human interactions and relationships. Despite not being as well-known as his cousin, Frederick George Cotman made a significant contribution to British art during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, capturing the spirit of his time with skill and sensitivity.


Recipe: Cottage Pie

Cottage pie, a traditional British dish, dates back to the late 18th century. It consists of a layer of minced or ground meat, typically beef, cooked in a gravy or sauce with vegetables, then topped with a layer of mashed potatoes before being baked in the oven.

The origins of cottage pie can be traced back to the time when potatoes were first introduced to the British Isles as an affordable, nutritious, and versatile food source. People from the lower-income classes, who lived in cottages in the rural countryside, would make this dish using leftover meat from a Sunday roast. The term "cottage" refers to the modest homes of the working-class people who first created the dish.



  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 

Mashed potato topping:

  • 2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

  2. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat until browned. Drain any excess fat, then add the onion, carrots, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.

  3. Stir in the tomato paste, beef broth, frozen peas, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt, and pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.

  4. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in a pot of boiling, salted water until tender. Drain and mash with the milk, butter, salt, and pepper until smooth and creamy.

  5. Pour the beef mixture into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top, then sprinkle with the shredded cheddar cheese.

  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly.Serve this delicious Cottage Pie as a comforting meal that brings everyone together

Additional information

Cottage pie remains a popular comfort food in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and other English-speaking countries. There are numerous regional variations, and some recipes include additional ingredients such as cheese, herbs, or breadcrumbs. The dish continues to evolve, with modern versions incorporating various types of meat, vegetarian alternatives, and unique twists on the traditional recipe.


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