Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pistou Soup

Maybe we are homebodies, but we find the best thing about traveling is coming home. A weekend spent away makes you realize the small things about home you missed. Be it a an afternoon nap or just sitting in the backyard with the sun blistering the back of your neck and WWOZ cackling on your old intercom system, some things just can't be done on the road. So after we got home on Sunday, picked up the hounds, and ran some errands, a soup had us saying, "there is no place like home."

Pistou soup is an ode to vegetables, springtime, and comfort. The intriguing thing about this delight is that you place a scoop of fresh pesto on top of the broth in the bowl. The pesto melts into the soup flavoring the potage. The rich green of the pesto melds with the heat of the soup releasing an aroma of vibrancy and fresh cut grass.

Serve with some hot, crusty bread, a 2007 Chehalem Inox Chardonnay, and the Rock of Love 3 Reunion and you are home.

Pistou Soup

In a pot suitable for souping, combine diced leek, onion, carrot, and celery with olive oil. Saute until translucent. Add garlic, bay leaf, salt, pepper, red chili flake. Add water or stock to cover. Bring to a simmer. Add green beans (which you have blanched*) and some hearty lettuce (I had some bib lettuce sitting around). Continue to simmer.

Meanwhile, make a pesto. I had parsley, a jalepeno, some walnuts, and some parmesan cheese laying around. So I used that. Just combine the above in a food processor or your mortar and pestle. You use whatever you want or have. Use more herb than you think you need. Work it out, then drizzle in olive oil, maybe some lemon juice. Taste, adjust seasonings.

Ladle soup into bowl, dollop pesto on top. Feel free to use whatever veggies you want, beans if you have them, or maybe even potatoes (for our buddies at Eating in Nola). You could also serve this soup at room temperature in the summer with equally good results.

The leftover pesto smeared inside an omelet studded with queso fresco did not suck for a Monday lunch. A baby basil plant is sprouting in my bed, along with some oregano, and hopefully some okra and cukes. Summer is sneaking a peek, so take advantage of Spring's offer now.

* Heavily salted water bring to a rolling boil. Toss beans in cook until tender. Remove immediately and place in ice bath to cool.


Donnie Boy Riguez said...

Maybe this soup should be properly named "blondetourage".

fmcgmccllc said...

fabulous, thanks