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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Desserts and cookies | Finger food

French Madeleines

By on December 30, 2014

French Madeleines? Say no more.  It’s French so it’s good, right?  Well, I’m might be biased. But I made it so it’s good!  How about that? And I’m French! Hehe, and quite modest, I may add.

French Madeleines

Although I have been living in Canada for 8 years, I still ask my parents to bring me several French products.  The very first years, the list was long and their suitcases heavy, it was anything from food to my favorite product to remove my make up or a deodorant.  Now, the list is way shorter and revolves mostly around food.

Don’t you love having something that comes from home?  I know that there are things I can find here, but it’s just not the same.  When you are an expat, products from your home country are always ”better”, just because.

French Madeleines

As you might have understood, madeleines were a good that used to be personally imported.  Special request for my breakfast.  In France, it’s also sold in a ”finger” shape, oh-my-god, the perfect shape for dunking!  That’s a little pleasure of life that warms up my heart and makes me feel like I am having a coffee in my Dad’s house with him and my not-so-little-anymore brother.  Yeah, because he is like taller than me and quite stronger too.  Still has been somehow, even though he is 13 years younger than me!

French Madeleines

About those madeleines…  Where shall I start from?  The perfect buttery taste that warms up your mouth?  Or the simplicity of the recipe?  Really, have some butter out of the fridge for an hour or so, so it’s easy to work with.

I got this recipe from my mom, she did it at school (she works in a school) and I have to give the credit to Bénédicte for the recipe that I have adapted.  I reduced the butter and the sugar a little.  Also, I choose to flavor it with some vanilla extract.

Easy and quick?  Yes m’dame!  Just a bowl and elbow grease, although you can use your electric hand mixer but don’t be lazy, it’s fast enough that you won’t need it.  Make sure your oven is preheated while your prepare the madeleines mix and there you have it.  Perfect French Madeleines!

French Madeleines

See, Little Princess had enough of my talking to convince you there are super tasty, she just grabbed it while I was taking a picture.  She is a 2-year-old-opportunist like that! 🙂

What is your little weakness that reminds you of home? Even if home is around the corner.

French Madeleines

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 9 minutes

Serving Size: 18 madeleines

Ingredients

  • - 1 cup of soft butter
  • - 3/4 of a cup of sugar
  • - 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • - 2 eggs, medium size
  • - 1 cup of flour

Instructions

  1. - Preheat the oven at 405F.
  2. - In a bowl, mix the butter and sugar until it looks like a creamy spread. Add the vanilla, mix some more.
  3. - Incorporate one egg and then the other. Mix well.
  4. - Sift the flour and mix until there are no lumps.
  5. - Put one tablespoon of the mixture in each madeleine mold and place in the oven at 405F for 9 minutes or until slightly golden.
http://bonappeteat.ca/2014/12/30/french-madeleines/


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Meatless

If you don’t have something, just do without. Today, vegetarian pastas.

By on March 13, 2014

The amount of energy that we waste into complaining about something we don’t have.  The time we lose talking about something we forgot at home while we are on vacations.  We forget the essential: just live the moment.  Enjoy it while it last.  I did say “we”, I am French, remember?  So yup, I do complain.  A lot actually.  When I have my mind sets on something, I am little obsessed.  Some days, I can be an amazing whiner when I decide to.   No, no, stay here.  I am not just that, I am fun too!
This is why I married El Cubano, he will always try to see the bright side of a situation.  “Make the best of it” he says.  He is right.  We all should.

On a less serious note but still in the subject, I wanted to prepare some pasta for my lunch.  Healthy with some grilled chicken.  But I did not have any chicken.  I wanted some basil in it, a little bit of summer in my plate… Did not have either.  However, I had some pesto, fresh tomatoes, fresh garlic and onion so there we go.  Something yummy should come out of this!

Once a little cooked the tomatoes were a little tart but it balanced their sweetness perfectly.  The garlic taste was just enough to compliment the pesto.  And the pasta was just Al Dente!   It made a perfect lunch break at work!

Whole wheat garlic pesto pasta

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