There’s got to be a way to bring a little bit of France into the menu at MAL, nothing too exotic, but something all those old regulars might even like … like soup! I’ll try one of my favorite Julia Child recipes – Soupe au Pistou.
In France, this is traditionally a summer soup, but I make it ‘year round. And it goes together vite vite (that’s French for fast).
Soupe au Pistou
For the soup:
3 quarts water
2 cups each: diced carrots, potatoes, leeks
1 tbs. salt
2 cups diced fresh or frozen green beans
2 cups canned kidney beans
1/3 cup small pasta, such as orzo or small shells; broken spaghetti works too
1 slice good quality white bread, crumbled into bits
few grinds of fresh pepper
pinch of saffron
For the pistou:
4 cloves garlic, mashed
4 tbs. tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 tbs. dried basil
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup good olive oil
Put the water, salt, carrots, potatoes and leeks in a large heavy pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 40 mins. Add the green beans, kidney beans, pasta, bread, pepper and saffron. Simmer for 15 mins., or until the beans are just cooked. Taste the soup and correct the seasoning if necessary.
Make the pistou while the soup is cooking. Combine the garlic, tomato paste, basil and cheese in a medium bowl. With a whisk, slowly beat in the olive oil. When the soup is finished, stir the pistou into the soup in three batches. The soup is ready to eat immediately but may also be made a day in advance and reheated.
Adapted from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck