Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Potage Luzienne

Some weeks ago, while wandering through Barnes & Noble and enjoying the smell of coffee and paper, I happened upon a jackpot of a find on a clearance table, Under the Sun: Caroline Conran's French Country Cooking. For $5.50, how could I not!? The book is filled with information on the ingredients, foods, and people of southern France, "...from Bordeaux to Nice..." and beyond. The recipes are pretty simple, down-home French cooking, you could say. None of the snooty stuff which often maligns French cooking in pop culture. Recipes include Sautéed Green Bell Peppers and Tomato Salad (Salade de Tomates aux Piments Verts), Cep and Potato Soup (Soupe aux Cépes), Lamb Couscous with Seven Vegetables (Couscous aux Sept Legumes), and Sweet Aniseed Brioche (Brioche Anisée) and so many more. Many of the recipes are accompanied with beautiful photographs, as well.

Tonight, I was set on making the Olive Soup from St.-Jean-de-Luz (Potage Luzienne).

Mmm, hearty, old world, rustic, and tasting of the country of the Pays least, so I'd assume.

Olive Soup from St. Jean-de-Luz
(Potage Luzienne)
from Under the Sun, by Caroline Conran

1 cup dried fava beans, soaked for 2 hours until tender
1 smallish russet potato, peeled and diced
1 large leek, cleaned and sliced thinly
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Slices of whole grain baguette, buttered and toasted and sprinkled with salt and pepper

Put the soaked and drained beans, potato, leek, olives, shallots, thyme and garlic into a dutch oven with 4 3/4 cups water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for 1¼ to 1½ hours.

Add slat and pepper to taste, and id you'd like, briefly blend with a stick blender.

Serve topped with a slice of toasted baguette.

Bon appétit!


Anonymous said...

Now that is a very different soup. I had never heard of this before. It looks very good.


Sophie said...

I've seen a lot of similar recipes to this one but they often sound a bit bland - an olive version is a great idea (have bookmarked this for later)

Love your photo by the way!

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Maybe the most awesome French cookbook I've ever read in my whole life, nice recommendation!