28 April 2011

French Garlicky White Bean Newlywed Soup

French Garlicky White Bean Newlywed Soup
It seems that my invitation has been lost in the mail. Yours has too I assume, or, perhaps you are reading this from your suite at a London hotel awaiting the festivities at Buckingham Palace. It would be very un-British of me to not at least mention the upcoming wedding here on these pages. On the day, I will be on a bus with 42 other women en route to Seattle. I am sure that there will be plenty of news coverage and I will be able to watch the wedding from start to finish once I return back to Canada. Canada's wedding gift will be a $50,000 donation to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. The organization was chosen by William and Kate to be the Canadian beneficiary of a special charitable fund set up to celebrate their wedding.





While others contemplate the dress, the guest list and the venue I am much more interested in the food from start to finish!!! If I were at home I would have gathered a few friends for a dinner "fit for a King" and made an event of it in front of the "tellie" as I am sure many Brits and royal watchers will be doing. The menu for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is a closely guarded state secret, but one thing for sure it will be "very British." Over 300 guests have been invited to the meal on the evening of April 29, hours after the couple wed at London's Westminster Abbey.  Food is a key ingredient to any great wedding, and when the wedding also happens to be royal, no expense will be spared for a wonderful meal that will be enjoyed by the couple and guests alike in a large elaborate seven-course meal ...or will they go for a buffet?

Will they serve organic lamb with new potatoes and butter braised leeks from Highgrove, Prince Charles's organic farm and homestead in Gloucestershire; Gleneagles Pate which is like a terrine of smoked trout, smoked salmon and smoked mackerel pate; or Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, pea custard and goat's cheese; Loch Duart salmon, London-cured, and paired with horseradish snow and wood sorrel; Balmoral venison with nuts, grains, seeds, baked beetroot and an English gin sauce? Will they top it all off with British Sparkling wine instead of Champagne?

For the dessert course will they have Burnt English Cream with Wild Strawberries, a selection of local farmhouse cheeses, pudding with caper sauce and rowan jelly, Eton Mess or Prince Williams favorite Banana Flan? I have read that Kate is a fan of sticky toffee pudding and that William's a chocolate lover, but the couple decided to remain true to tradition and have Fiona Cairns of Fiona Cairns Ltd. craft a traditional tiered fruitcake decorated with frosted flowers chosen for their meaning according to the Victorian language of flowers. Bridal roses (happiness), acorns (strength and endurance), and lilies of the valley (sweetness and humility) will take their place on the cake along with symbols of the United Kingdom (the English rose, daffodil, thistle, and shamrock).  Cairns said in a palace video, "Prince William also requested his favorite Chocolate Biscuit Cake for their reception".

This soup from Kimberley Lovato and her book Walnut Wine and Truffle Groves  is not even British but since France and Britain were once joined at the hip through the monarchy, and I was in the mood for something warm and comforting, why not follow tradition. This soup cooked especially for the couple was traditionally brought to newlyweds on the morning after their wedding night in the Dordogne region in Southern France intended to help them recover from their wedding night.

I’m not certain if newlyweds are still hunted down on their wedding night, but this soup lives on!! According to Kimberley the Restaurant de l’Abbaye in Cadouin is well- known for their version, served from a large tureen table side rather than bedside. No need to be a newlywed. Next time you’re not quite feeling yourself, forget chicken soup and try this hearty restorative!!!!And if you are bringing the soup to newlyweds, don’t forget to knock!



 **French Garlicky White Bean Soup**
  • 3 tablespoons goose fat (acceptable, if inauthentic, stand-ins include duck fat and olive oil)
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 cup dried white beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 cup heavy cream or crème fraîche
  • Coarse salt and white pepper
  • Chopped fresh herbs, (such as parsley, chives, and/or thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 day-old baguette, sliced 2 inches thick (optional)
1. In a stockpot over medium heat, melt the goose fat or in my case butter and olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and saute until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes.

 2. Add flour to the onion mixture and stir until it forms a smooth paste. Still stirring constantly, slowly add half of the stock. Continue stirring until the mixture begins to thicken. Stir in the remaining stock and the beans. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

 3.  Using an immersion blender blend the soup right in the pot. If you do not have an immersion blender work in batches and pour the soup into a blender and process until smooth. Return the soup to the stockpot and place over medium-low heat. Add the cream and season with salt, white pepper, and the herbs. Adjust the heat until the soup is just simmering and then slowly stir in the vinegar. Ladle the soup into a tureen or bowls. Float large pieces of the bread on top, if using, and serve right away.

Serves 6

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

29 comments:

  1. A palatable soup! I really like the ingredients used.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Would you believe that I just put on a pot of mixed (flageolet, Christmas beans, and ?beans) on the stove for soup? I didn't exactly plan it for "the wedding" but, since my invitation is probably out there over the Atlantic with yours, I guess it will have to do. I'm looking forward to the nuptials and would love to be there for the dinner. And I wish them well. I hope they will find happiness together!

    Have a great trip.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  3. You had me at the 8 cloves of garlic! This looks perfect for the cold weather in Seattle. Sorry Im going to miss you on this trip , have a wonderful time.

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  4. I am looking forward to the royal wedding too-It's going to be beautiful. Love this soup, it provides the much needed energy for the newlyweds :-)

    Cheers.
    Velva

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  5. I hope they will be happy together. Very nice soup, Val!

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  6. I so wish I could get excited up the upcoming royal wedding, but I just can't. I'd be happy to have a bowl of your lovely soup though.

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  7. Anything that starts off with duck fat and then has cream in it has to taste wonderful Val. Love using the immersion blender. Makes blending so much easier than the old standard blender.
    Sam

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  8. One of my friends and I are getting up at 4 to watch the royal wedding with scones, a tart and pasties - should be a fun time! z

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  9. Yum sounds decadent yet comforting. I will be making this soup!

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  10. Fun post...especially "don’t forget to knock!"

    I'll be happy to see the event but glad when it's gone from the airwaves. The pre-wedding promo has been way too much!

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  11. Agreed, a little more subtlety would go a long way:D

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  12. I love soup and this sound delicious Vall, x gloria

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  13. I am so loving the hype over this wedding and definitely can't wait to see the food! I might have to serve your soup at my wedding though...garlic and white beans are SO my thing.

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  14. I can't wait to watch the wedding and I too am so excited to see what they serve for dinner. This soup sounds rich, creamy, and so delicious!

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  15. Yes, I am much more interested in the food than I am in the actual wedding! This soup sounds delicious!

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  16. This is such a cute post! And the soup looks so soothing...

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  17. This sounds wonderful, I am a huge fan of garlic-y soups :)

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  18. I do think they make a charming couple. ;)

    This is such a lovely soup. You just can't beat the flavor of fresh herbs!

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  19. I'm watching the highlights as a type. I love bean soups and the garlic must taste wonderful in this version. I think I'll stick with olive oil though :)

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  20. I didn't wake up early to watch the wedding live, but I was just complaining about the dress after seeing photos. (I was hoping for something more exciting.) This soup sounds fantastic for any occasion. Love that it's started with goose fat!

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  21. It's funny. Wedding food to me is the least interesting part. Maybe because feeding people in such large quantities almost guarantees the food isn't going to be as good as at a dinner party in your own home?

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  22. I love the story behind this soup, Val! How hilarious! :-)

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  23. I would love some goose (or even duck) fat in my soup. This reminds me of my favorite white bean dip recipe.

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  24. What a great soup, perfect for a wedding! Wow, you weren't far off with your foodie suggestions!
    Hope you are having a lovely trip. x

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  25. i'm among those who don't understand the hoopla about the wedding, but i have enjoyed seeing the various food reports. i guess i have a one-track mind. :)

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  26. Hmmmm, garlic and newlyweds. That could be a deadly combo! I haven't had this soup is a really long time. Thanks for reminding me. Great post! While I'm glad the wedding hype is over, I have to say that I marveled at the beautiful wedding cake. Oh, the dress was beautiful, but for me-- it's always about the food!

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  27. Great post Val!
    Love the soup recipe too.

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  28. OMG daaaahling, your invitation got lost too??? The mail here in the UK is just absolutely inept.
    *kisses* HH

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  29. This soup looks delicious! I never have duck fat around but I actually DO have some I froze leftover from cassoulet I made, and now I will have to use it in some soup! I'm sure it will be 40 degrees here again next week. :)

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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