Meatless | Soup

Soupe au pistou, a French summer soup

By on June 12, 2017

Summer is discretely pushing Spring away and May’s showers are already forgotten! We can now enjoy dinners on the patio, backyard BBQs and outdoors games with the kids. Did you already get a little sun kissed? Do you feel how time is nicely slowing down as we are enjoying our down time outdoors with our loved ones?

The recipe & the elephant in the room

You know what else is amazing in summer? Veggies. Oh boy, do they taste better. So, I have this soup recipe for you and I guarantee you will fall in love with it!

Can I convince you?

  • It is an explosion of flavors. You will not be able to deny it.
  • This dish is healthy
  • It’s easy to prepare and your guests (or family) will be impressed
  • And, it’s French! Ah, do I need to say more? Mouhahahhaa!

The recipe

Speaking about this dish brings me back to my childhood. I can still remember the first time I had it… It was a late Saturday night, we were eating outside on the terrace of some friends, the sky was filled with stars and crickets and cicadas were all singing together.  Although, nights in the South of France can sometimes be fresh but you don’t always put a cardigan on, you just want to enjoy your body cooling down from the hot day. So the soup actually works perfectly for your upcoming summer evenings.

More precisely, this pot is filled with 3 types of beans, carrots, potatoes and at the end a handful of pasta. The pistou then will enhance all the dish.

Of note, the key to this successful dish is mainly in a pistou rich in flavor. Therefore, you will need a ridiculous amount of basil = a whole plant. The paste that you will create with the leaves, the garlic and the olive oil will just marry to perfection your gently simmered vegetables.

Basil. Oh and basil!

Also, the elephant in the room:

Yes, I decided to squeezed a new recipe after over a year of hiatus. Why not?  I definitely will do a post regarding this long silence. I want to tell you why I stopped and why it took me so long to come back. As much as I love blogging and all that goes with it, this break help me to understand why I wanted to blog.

Anyway, we  chat! If you are a blogger, you might have gone through this time of doubts and silence. Nonetheless, I am back and so is summer. All you need to worry about is to get the necessary ingredients for this soup as it will not disappoint.

Soupe au pistou, a French summer soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: For 6 persons

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of carrots diced
  • 3 cups of navy beans
  • 3 cups of sweet snap peas
  • 3 cups of green beans
  • 1 cup of potatoes diced
  • 1 cup of pasta (shell or macaroni shape)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 cup (packed) of basil leaves
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup of olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, put the carrot, navy beans, sweet snap peas and green beans. Add the salt. Fill with water to the top. Bring it to a simmer and leave for an hour.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the garlic, wash the basil leaves and place it in the food processor along with the tomatoes and the olive oil. Set aside, you have your pistou.
  3. Add the potatoes. Cook for 15 minutes. Then, add the pastas and cooked as required on the package.
  4. Now, add your pistou and stir. Your soup is ready, you can add some shredded emmental on top after serving.

Notes

At the beginning of the recipe, you can cook some bacon and add it to the 3 beans in the pot. It will add some flavor.

Some versions of the Pistou soup can include some zucchinis. It is a great addition, you can add 2 or 3 diced at the same time than the potatoes.

http://bonappeteat.ca/2017/06/12/soupe-au-pistou-french-summer-soup/

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Appetizer | Drink up! | Finger food | Meatless

St Patrick’s Day under 15 minutes

By on March 17, 2016

Hi readers! I missed you… I have been thinking about you a lot!

First, APOLOGIES for disappearing from Bon Appét’Eat. I started preparing a post where I explained my choice and I will be back to share it.

Second, THANK YOU for coming back and visiting my blog!

Just like that I am back… Let’s look natural and squeeze in a little article about St Patrick’s Day. Give you some inspiration with quick and easy ideas to be green on March 17th!

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8 things to do to feel like it’s summer in Provence

By on September 7, 2015

Last day before back to school? Let’s talk about vacations…. I am all emotional that my baby is going to SK so let’s change the conversation, right?

As the summer is wrapping up, I want to enjoy the last bit of sun on my skin, a few more outdoor meals but most of all, keep that warmth in my heart that I brought back from France.

We went to the South, in Provence, for 2 weeks and it was hot, relaxing and full of love. The children enjoyed every little bit of their trip. French vacations for the win!
Summer in Provence 1 – Eat like every day is your last day: To a certain extend… Stay healthy and moderate. BUT do not think that certain things are to be eaten or drunk on special occasion. TODAY is special! We were in France with our family, it was amazing. Needless to say that (cough) our pants shrank under the sun!  But we ENJOYED!

2 – Eat local, fresh and seasonal: Fresh strawberries from the garden for breakfast? YES! Biting in a juicy tomato in the garden? YES! It is tastier and kids snaked on beautiful crops. Enough said.

3 –  Have an apéritif: See #1, today is special, have a nice glass of wine with your loved one, a fresh beer. Stay safe, don’t drive. Cheering to awesome vacations! Santé! Special recommendation: Pineau des Charentes, Pastis. Ma favs.

Summer in Provence

4 – Sit back and relax: Watch the kids playing, feel the breeze and do nothing. Don’t think about chores, bills and work. Gone! Chill, you need it! I know it’s hard to apply, I do try my best though to just unplug.

5 – Break the kid’s routine: It’s okay to put your kids to bed later than usual. Hopefully, they’ll sleep later the next morning. Mine do.  Routine is important but letting things go feels good sometimes.

Summer in Provence

6 – Sit together at the table: it is a family moment that French are serious about!  Eat together, talk and share about your day, your friends.  I’m very particular about that one, we do have picnic dinner in front of the television once in a while, but it is rare.

7 – Drive around, get lost and admire:  Although I spent 22 years in Provence, I surprise myself taking so many pictures of places I would hang out on a daily basis when I was a student.  We are so blind.  Take a minute and enjoy that beautiful sunset in your neighbourhood. Nature’s beauty is all around.

Provence

8 – KISS and French KISS! Of course, kiss your loved ones, French kiss your better half. “La bise” (a kiss on each cheek to say bonjour) is a cultural feature I brought with me.

Each time I leave my family, it’s hard… and sad.  I wish my babies would see their French Mamie and Papy more often.  I am so proud of those kiddos that keep talking about France on a daily basis without me mentioning it.  They also have 2 uncles and an aunt that they created souvenir with.

LOVE is powerful, love is stronger than the kilometers that separate us.

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About | Appetizer | Blogging | Bread | Finger food | Meat and fish | Meatless | Salty | Tutorials

Interview of a 4-year old

By on May 15, 2015

This year, my participation for Food Revolution Day will not be a recipe but an amazing interview I did of my mini-superhero!  Everyday, he amazes me with his comments about food, remarks about what he observes and questions about our bodies.  He is so curious and we love it!

A few notes about this video:
– We are so proud that he understood the concept of indulging once in a while but being healthy is a priority!
– I am the one asking the questions and it was as natural as possible since I communicate with him ONLY in French!
– I did NOT tell him to say something in particular, we just chatted for 15 minutes in front of the camera!
– I did questioned him in a way to get him to repeat some sentences he has said in the past.

A few ideas that he says a lot but did not express:
– He loves to cook/help with his parents in the kitchen
– His younger sister is following his footsteps!

Finally…
– Introducing any food as soon as they started solid food  has been a key in the developement of their palate!  I am so proud that they eat EVERYTHING!

The recipe is referring for the Kale salad is this one! He loved it!
Cranberries-Walnuts kale salad with goat cheese dressing

As for the real food and the pizza, the kids loves when we make it and they customize theirs. The recipe is here.

Mini Caprese pizza

 

Thank you for watching the video and TEACH YOUR KIDS, GET THEM INVOLVED and do not find bad excuses, yes you can be HEALTHY in your busy mom life!

Last year, I wrote a few articles for Food Revolution 2014:
Grow your food
 Get them involve: Meat balls with the mini-chef
 Healthy dinner on week days, yes! Pecan-crusted chicken
 Healthy snack: Creamy avocado dip
 Fruity Smoothie and Healthy rasberry muffins

 

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Desserts and cookies | Meatless

Chestnut cake

By on March 30, 2015

Chestnut cake or Ardéchois is An amazing recipe that will surprise your guests.  It is easy and will hit the spot at craving-o-clock, what do you think?

I say YES!  I take my coffee black to go with it.

I have been making this recipe for about at least 20  years.  And I am sharing it just now.  I know, I am sorry, you’ll be even more mad at me after you tried it.  Mélanie, why are you giving it just now?  I am sorry.

Oh, I started baking young… Just in case you started crushing numbers to guess my age.

Chestnut cake

This cake is offering moisture, sweetness but not too much, just from the spread.  There is also that buttery nutty taste….

Guys, just try it.   I am torturing myself describing it and I don’t have any to bite into.  Tor-ture. Sight.

If you are not big on chestnut spread, no worries.   Give it a try regardless, chances are you will like it.  Hubby, El Cubano, did.  And other persons have too.  I love chestnut spread, they used to sell it in a tube, like a toothpaste tube but smaller.  I would eat it just like that. J. might remember our recess breaks and my snacks?  This and condensed milk.  Hi Sugar-rush!

Chestnut spread

This recipe makes me nostagic of those years, those people I  baked it for.  The taste brings me back in my parent’s kitchen in France.  I sound very sentimental but living far from your family  does that to you.  Thankfully, I found a marvellous hubby, El Cubano, and our mini-superman and mini-princess are perfect.

Now, those pumpkins are the ones I share my nostalgic recipes and create new ones.  They love it and ask for more.  It is the best reward after spending time in my apron!

Chestnut spread cake

About the Chestnust spread: I might not have seen it in every single supermarket but it is quite common in the aisle of jams and chocolate spread.  Or, you can go to France to pick some up and do your Ardéchois.

Chestnut cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 1 cake of 8 x 8

Ingredients

  • - 2 large eggs
  • - 1/2 a cup of butter
  • - 1 cup of chestnut spread
  • - 20 cl of milk
  • - 1 cup of flour
  • - 1 teaspoon of baking powder

Instructions

  1. - In a bowl, put the wet ingredients: eggs, butter previously melted, the chestnut spread and milk. Mix well.
  2. - Add progressively the flour and the baking powder, mix until smooth.
  3. - Pour the mixture in an oven dish,previously buttered if necessary.
  4. - Bake in the oven at 385F for 30-35 minutes or when the tip of your knife comes out dry when you pick your cake.
http://bonappeteat.ca/2015/03/30/chestnut-cake/

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