|French Garlicky White Bean Newlywed Soup|
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)
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.
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