Chill the Champagne …

…pack the pearls and tune up the Bugatti. With those words, American divorcee Wallis Simpson (pictured above) headed off to the seaside Basque playground of Biarritz with her husband, the Duke of Windsor (King Edward VIII until he abdicated the throne for “the woman I love.”) Simpson was born on this date in 1896.

Green beans are always in season but especially good in early summer so it’s a perfect time for a Basque specialty from Susan Hermann Loomis’s brilliantly titled cookbook, Food: Basque in It. On egin — that’s Basque for bon appetit. And happy father’s day. I miss you dad.

Basque Potato and Green Bean Soup with Garlic
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
Kosher salt
6 cups water
1 pound green beans, trimmed, cut on the slant into 2-inch lengths
6 tablespoons olive oil
6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the potatoes, one tablespoon of salt and the water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are nearly soft through, about 15 minutes. Add the green beans and cook, uncovered, until they start to turn tender and lose their bright green color, about 15 minutes.

While the beans and potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the sliced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until it turns golden brown, about five to eight minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve.

When the beans and potatoes are cooked, add the garlic and olive oil to the soup and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired, and serve immediately.

FOOD: Basque in It by Susan Hermann Loomis


2 responses to “Chill the Champagne …

  1. Nice write-up! Now I’m motivated to buy some green beans, cook up this recipe, & eat in the backyard, as I ‘basque’ in the sun!

  2. Great short post, love the soup recipe!

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