After getting four hours of sleep two nights in a row at the end of last week, my weekend was spent napping and attending the Tweed Run, which might I add, has to be the.coolest.London.event. Bar none. It is most likely the only time you will see local Londoners with wide smiles conversing with strangers outside a pub.
The air was filled with the unadulterated joy of people in their finest tweed and accessories of mustaches, caps and socks. The smile never left my face for the hour I spent with my friends before they set off on the bikes and I went home to nap off my adventures from my friend’s brief visit.
After spending Saturday having so much fun, the rest of the weekend was spent making things for this little piece of the internet and preparing for the arrival of my father who will be in these parts of the world for two months. This time in a week he will have landed and the slices of cake in the freezer can be shared with the Joey of the family.
Rocking the moustache/Hats ahoy/Tweed friends/Tweed hats all around/Tally Ho Tweeder
From the heights of English culture in action to a full bodied French soup, culture is alive and well as it should be! I cannot tell you how much soup this recipe makes. Truly, this is so full of vegetables and good ingredients that you will satisfy yourself and a lot of guests with this dish past one or even two meals. In fact, I gave a third away and still ate it for lunch for almost two weeks on my own. This soup also freezes incredibly well.
Soup au Pistou
Adapted from 101Cookbooks
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large onions, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 leeks, trimmed and chopped
2 1/2 liters water
1 pound/450g flageolet beans
1 can whole tomatoes, drained
2 large potatoes, cubed
1/4 pound/113g stellette or orzo pasta
1 large zucchini, ends trimmed and cubed
1/2 cup chard, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt to taste
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups fresh basil leaves
1 small tomato, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the onions, celery and leeks, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the beans and water and bring to the boil, than lower to a simmer and cook for a further 15 minutes.
Add in the canned tomatoes and potatoes and stir to mix well, continue cooking for a further 15 minutes, than add the pasta. Cook for a further 15 minutes on a low simmer.
Meanwhile, make the Pistou by blending the garlic and salt. Add a handful of the basil leaves at a time and blending until smooth and continue blending until all the basil is incorporated and smooth. Add the tomato and blend until smooth, than add the olive oil in a gentle stream. Lastly add the Gruyere and roughly blend.
To finish the soup, add the zucchini and chard and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the salt to taste and stir through.
Ladle the soup into bowls and spoon over tablespoonfuls of the pistou on top.
Note: The pesto will need to be doubled to serve 10 people or the portion will need to be halved compared to my images.