Julia’s Vegetable Soup

This week, I’m without a kitchen and didn’t do anything exciting with the farm share food. However, I found some old drafts that I never published, so I hung on to them for this very occasion. Plus, it’s a reminder to me how good this soup really is.

Being into food, the family all agreed to see Julie and Julia when it came out. A strange family movie, but then we’re kind of strange. The Julie character was not particularly likable (no offense to Amy Adams, who I actually like) but the Julia character was so much fun! I’ve since read My Life in France, which is just as inspiring as what we saw in the movies. So, of course, we also bought the books. I made my husband the Beef Bourguignon once. ONCE. On paper, it didn’t look like it would be so hard, but once you got into it, you realized there were parts where it might say “add the pearl onions” and that meant you had to prepare the pearl onions, which that recipe was on a completely different page. I’ve never made it again, in part because my daughter and I are now vegetarians. The beef bourguignon, the coq au vin and the meatloaf are the dishes my husband misses the most.

So, this week I challenged everyone to pick a meal. Husband went with a tomato sauce from the Delicious Memories cookbook (he added his own bacon.) I went with a paella. And the kid picked out the vegetable soup from the Julia Child book. I admit some trepidation after the beef bourguignon, but this was not so bad to make! Turns out I was only had to buy carrots and potatoes and I had the rest on hand. I did make a few tweaks, which I’ll note.

Put in a pot and boil gently for 40 minutes:

  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 cups carrots (aka one batch organic carrots)
  • 2 cups potatoes (aka two baking potatoes)
  • 2 cups leeks (aka one batch leeks)
  • 1 cup barley (she called for broken spaghetti noodles in step 2, but I assumed this was to not scare the 1950s suburban housewife and went with barley instead.)
  • 1 T salt

20 minutes before serving, add:

  • 1 16 oz bag frozen cut green beans (can use fresh but it’s January, so we went with frozen)
  • 1 can Great Northern white beans (or, do what I did: soak the beans in the morning, cook for 3 minutes in my beloved pressure cooker)
  • 1/3 cup panko (called of a crumbled piece of stale bread)
  • Pepper
  • Tumeric and smoked paprika, about a teaspoon each (she suggests a pinch of saffron. Have you seen the cost of saffron??)

Make a pistou (no I don’t know what that is, but make it anyway) by pureeing in blender/food processor:

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6 T tomato paste
  • 1/2 c parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 cups fresh basil or a T dried (or a handful of frozen from the summer harvest)
  • 1/4 c olive oil

Add a cup of broth then pour all that in the soup and serve. Surprisingly creamy considering the small amount of dairy in this. (My husband did go “you don’t put cheese in vegetable soup!” but he didn’t complain when he ate it. I merely said “we’re following Julia here.”) I guess the potatoes and the breadcrumbs help out in the creamy department.

A definite keeper and I think we were done in about an hour.

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One thought on “Julia’s Vegetable Soup

  1. Krissy

    The soup sounds tasty. I love leeks, so will have to give this a try. You mentioned paella, so do you have that recipe on here somewhere? :-) I know you’ll enjoy your new kitchen once it’s done!

    Reply

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