A French Summer Soup

Soupe Au Pistou

A good-for-you French stew

Low fat, flavorful — this soup will bowl you over. In France, where foie gras rules, this soup stands out: It’s low fat and vegetarian.

soupe au pistou recipe

This summer soup is a Provençal dish that is iconic for France.  It is made up of cubed vegetables with a tablespoon of pistou on top.  Pistou means “pounded” — that is, pound together the ingredients: garlic, fresh basil and olive oil….much like pesto as we know it here in the U.S.

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The ingredient list is long, but the labor involved in making this soup is minimal.Image result for images of pistou

To make the pestou you will need a mortar and pestle to grind and pound the ingredients together to make the topping for the soup.Image result for images of pistou

Aubergine Antiques offers many styles and sizes of mortar and pestles – several are pictured below.  A must for any well stocked kitchen.

In your mortar and pestle you will pound the garlic and salt until it is a paste after which you add the chopped basil and lemon juice – stir in olive oil and then lastly, the tomato, topped off with pepper and Gruyere.  Mix well and taste to check the seasoning.

For the pistou

1 large clove of garlic, peeled
pinch of salt
2 cups (40g) gently packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
a few drops of lemon juice
1 small tomato; peeled, seeded, and diced
1 1/2 ounces (45g) Gruyere cheese, grated

In making this soup you will want to prepare and chop all the vegetables before starting to cook.  A good cook knows that preparation like this helps with time and staying organized with the recipe.

A good stock pot, nice utensils and cutting boards are a must.

All of these kitchen items can be purchased at Aubergines.  Call us to see what we have available.  251-928-0902

For the soup itself you will need the following:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup shallots – finely chopped
  • ½ leek – finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup chopped parsnips
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • 3 new potatoes – diced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, liquid drained
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed (can use white beans if preferred)
  • a few tablespoons torn fennel fronds
  • 3 1/2 oz green beans – cut into 3/4 in. pieces
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • ½ cup dried quinoa macaroni noodles (optional)
  • salt, pepper, sugar (just a tsp. of sugar)
  • very finely grated zest & juice of 2 unwaxed lemonsImage result for images of unwaxed lemons

After you have prepared and chopped all the vegetables – Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat – add your shallots, leek & parsnips.

soup au pistou / loveandlemons.com

Cook until translucent, then add garlic and cook for just a bit longer.

Stir in the carrots, potatoes and tomatoes and let the flavors get familiar with each other prior to adding the water and a pinch of sugar – season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add your 1/4 cup wine. Cook for about 15-20 minutes.  Vegetables should be tender, but still have a little bite to them.

Now you are ready to add the chickpeas or other beans as well as the green beans – simmer 5 minutes more.  Add your peas, parsley, lemon zest & juice and half the Gruyere.  Stir very gently.  Cook for 2 minutes longer.  You may want to add your pre-cooked noodles at this point, but optional.

VOILA!! You have completed the French Soup Recipe!

Serve in bowls with a generous dollop of pistou on top and grated Gruyere on top of that – a drizzle of virgin olive oil rounds out the dish.Image result for images of pistou

Or serve to the table with a lidded dish and let everyone serve themselves.  This crock is available at Aubergines.  251-928-0902

This Iconic French Summer Soup and many other recipes that we plan to share with you can be found in several of the cookbooks that we consistently carry at our Antique French culinary shop, Aubergines.

This particular dish was from The South of France Cookbook — with a little tweeking on my part – only because I enjoy changing recipes and making them palatable as my family likes!!

The pictures were taken at Aubergine Antiques or from Pinterest, etc.  Soupe Au Pesto:   www.davidlebovitz.com/soupe-au-pistou-french-vegetable-soup-recipe/

Au Revoir!  A La Prochaine!!

 

CHEESES OF FRANCE

Fromage

Un reino de otro mundo en las maravillosas fromageries de la capital francesa: Getting to know French cheeses: 1st – GENUINE Brie

France is famously known for having more cheeses than there are days in the year. Some are very widespread and available in every supermarket, some are regionally specific, and others are local to a village or community only.

From east to west, from north to south, France’s diverse cuisine has delighted more than one curious palate. One element of French cooking exists above all others as the crème de la crème of French gastronomy: cheese.  In France, at meal time, the cheese course is typically served after the main course and before dessert and is called the plateau de fromage.

These are the French cheeses you have to taste at least once in your life.

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FRENCH “Trencher” DOUGH BOWLS

The Wonderful French Dough Bowl

When it comes to Christmas, the first thing we think of is home and all the smells that associate us to our home and the holidays.  Part of those familiar smells might just be the baking of bread.

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Bakery Bread in France

La Boulangerie – The Bakery

Baguette

The French word for bread is pain, pronounced pan.

Pain Baguette – The most well-known of French breads. A baguette is what most people mean when they ask for French bread.  Breakfast in many French homes without a baguette is hardly breakfast; croissants and the sweeter breads are typically saved for the weekend.

Bread in France. How it is different?Le Grenier à Pain. (Paris, France) bread and pastry like no other you've ever tasted...:

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Macarons

Macarons – The cookie of choice for the French!

Image result for history of laduree macarons

This is a French Macaron (\ˌma-ka-ˈroh\)
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Delicate and airy, the French Macaron has an almond, sugar and egg whites-based shell. The shells have a light, crunchy texture on the outside and are slightly chewy on the inside. These shells are held together by a filling, typically made from a ganache butter-cream, meringue or jam.
France is indebted to Italy for introducing this delicate pastry to France.  The Macaron cookie was born in Italy, introduced by the chef of Catherine de Medicis in 1533 at the time of her marriage to the Duc d’Orleans who became king of France in 1547 as Henry II. The term “macaron” has the same origin as the word “macaroni” — both mean “fine dough”, however; macarons are simple cookies, made of almond powder, sugar and egg whites.
Ladurée macarons. Flavors: coffee, pistachio, orange blossom and rose. Photo by Violetta363.

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