“My boyfriend is the one who does the 'pulling out all the stops' cooking in our house. I see it as a necessary evil,” Magielse tells us as she cuts the pumpkin flesh into pieces. “I do sometimes cook, and I'm not bad at it, you know, but spending a whole day standing in the kitchen... no thank you. I'd rather spend my time on other hobbies, like watching a series, gaming, blogging, reading or walking. I can easily follow a recipe, but someone who is really a dab hand cooks intuitively and tastes the food to see whether it needs a touch of this or that.”
Nonetheless, her colleagues have the impression she likes to cook. “Because I often bring food from home, like pasta or rice dishes. But they are always made by my boyfriend, ha ha.” She picks up cooking tips from him too. “We often cook together and he's good at knowing how we can add that extra bit of flavor.”
A signature dish of her own is not something she has. “Easy-to-make is more my thing. On my birthday, for instance, I'll make a cheesecake.” Laughing: “Never a cake that needs a long time in the oven, way too much could go wrong.” Eating tasty food, on the other hand, is something Magielse does like to do, and she likes ‘winter dishes’ best. “Soups, a tasty chili con carne or meat casserole.”
Read more about Bianca below the recipe.
Bianca's pumpkin soup - available all this week in the Atlas building, and elsewhere too on some days of the week.
For six bowls of soup
Preparation time: about 50 minutes
You will need
- 1 kilo pumpkin flesh (preferably not butternut squash flesh)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 leek
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 slices of toast, cut into squares
- 5 dl milk
- 3 dl chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons of thyme
- 2 teaspoons of parsley
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1/8 liter of cream
Cut the leek and the pumpkin flesh into small pieces. Rinse the leek well. Finely chop the garlic. Toast the two slices of bread and cut them into little pieces.
Place a soup pan on a medium heat and heat the oil. Fry the onion and then add the leek and herbs. Stir fry the leek until it is soft, then add the pumpkin flesh.
Pour on the stock as soon as the pumpkin begins to soften. Turn up the heat to bring everything to the boil. Then lower the heat and add the milk and toast squares. Now cover the soup and let it simmer gently for 20 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked.
Remove the soup from the heat and puree everything using a (handheld) blender. Return the pan to the heat and add the cream. If you like, add salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the soup into the bowls and garnish with parsley. If you plan to freeze the soup, don't add the cream at this stage. Add the cream once you have defrosted the soup, as you heat it up.
Finally, three provocative personal questions for Bianca from Cursor's glass storage jar, while the chef dots the i's and crosses the culinary t's.
What has the voice in your head been saying lately?
“Well, mainly I try to get that voice to quieten down. Everyone has an internal critic that's more or less active, but mine has been shouting too loudly for a long time now. I have a lot of patience for other people, but less for myself. I don't, or rather didn't, allow myself to make mistakes. That voice also said, for instance, ‘Why would you take part in this, you can't cook at all’. But because someone said it would be just right for me and I thought it seemed like fun, I went ahead and did it anyway. I'm getting better all the time at shutting up that inner voice.”
Who sent you your last WhatsApp and what did it say?
“That was Krista van den Boogaart, a former colleague who used to work at Internal Affairs. The chat started with New Year greetings and ended with the question whether each of us would be going to the meeting of an association we both belong to. I have been working at TU/e for fifteen years now and I often had contact with her at work. When Real Estate Management and Internal Affairs both moved to Atlas, we saw each other every day. We get along well. I think it's an advantage that we TU/e services now sit together. You hear much more about what everyone's working on, and are more likely to bounce ideas off each other.”
Who or what makes you collapse with laughter?
“I can laugh at the drop of a hat. It might be something my boyfriend says or what my colleagues are saying. Some colleagues are so good at making witty comebacks, hilarious. Standup comedienne Claudia de Breij's New Year's Eve show had me in stitches. People shouldn't always take themselves and other people so seriously. I like dry humor, as well as the kind of wit where it takes a moment for the penny to drop - words that can have multiple meanings.”
Every three weeks we interview a TU/e student or employee in the kitchen; about food, about their motivations and (pre-)occupations, and any other topic that comes up. The interviewee shares their favorite soup, and in the week that the interview appears, the soup is on sale on our campus in one or more of the canteens run by caterer VITAM. You will find all the interviews and recipes here.