In the Kitchen with Julia, oops I mean Stephenie

“The year was 1962. The American food scene was modest, to say the least. Then Julia Child arrived on our TV screens, and nothing has been the same since.”

 So sorry about the photos from iPad

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What a fantastic dinner Stephenie made the day that I arrived in Colorado once again and after a very early rise and shine time of 3 a.m. EST and a long day of travel on a very busy after the holidays travel date the dinner was greatly appreciated. Marisa asked me if I was going to cook dinner that night as we wandered from luggage carousel to carousel following herds of weary baggage claimers and a seemingly endless line of ski equipment retrievers standing focused on the revolving ski equipment thingy (can you tell that I am not a skier?) and all that I could muster was probably a silly face, but simply replied I don’ t think so…

I had forgotten how easy and delicious the soup is and it was the perfect dinner for a snowy day. As usual it is a good idea to prep the ingredients before hand and was great fun to watch someone else do all of the cooking for a change. It would be a great soup for a casual dinner served with warm French bread and a good bottle of wine, a fireside dinner comes to mind as I peek out of the window in the early a.m. darkness at a glowing full moon shining down on the snow covered ground.

Soupe Au Pistou, Mastering the art of French cooking

Ingredients:
Soup
3 quarts water
2 cups diced waxy potatoes
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced onion or white of leek
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups canned white navy or kidney beans, drained
1/3 cup broken spaghetti
1 slice stale white bread, crumbled
2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
*Optional : pinch of saffron

Pistou
4 cloves crushed garlic
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup fruity olive oil

Directions:
1) For the soup: Bring water, potatoes, carrots and onions or leeks, and salt to a boil in a 6-quart soup pot. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. About 20 minutes before serving add white beans, broken spaghetti, bread, pepper and saffron to the soup and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the green beans and simmer 5 to 10 minutes more, until they are cooked through but still crunchy. Again adjust salt and pepper to taste.

2 ) Pistou: While the soup is simmering, place the garlic, tomato puree or paste, basil and cheese in a soup tureen or another pot. Pound to a paste with a wooden spoon, then beat in olive oil, drop by drop.

3) To finish and serve: Whisk a cup of hot soup into tureen containing pistou. When smooth add rest of soup and stir well to combine. Serve hot with French bread or croutons. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.