A dear friend of mine first told me about La Tartine Gourmande while I sat on her bed flipping through and drooling over the cookbook. In it are the most beautiful photos, ideas and healthy recipes all based around classic French Cuisine but with a modern twist. Not only is the food good (I can attest to this as I’ve now made three of the recipes) but it looks good too. Food photography is so important in this day and age and has changed so much since the gelatin and mayonnaise heavy “entertaining at home” books of the 70s and 80s. Well, except for Sandra Lee, who’s entertaining books are terrifyingly dated…even though I secretly love her.
I think La Tartine Gourmande (blog of the very adorable and very French Béa…short for Béatrice) is one of the most beautiful blogs and now cookbooks I’ve ever seen. Her aesthetic is based on a blue pallet, much like the ever-awe inspiring Australian Martha Stewart, Donna Hay. But her food is so colorful and bright-looking that it makes me feel healthy and happy just looking at it.
Needless to say, minutes after flipping through the book, I ordered it on Amazon. The first thing I made was this soup…and it was certainly a hit. Bea tops it with scallops, but I think it was just amazing on its own. Also, my man hates coriander…so that had to go. Sunchokes or Jerusalemartichokes are often hard to find, so make this soup when you see them. I’ve played with them before but this is certainly the most divine incarnation I’ve ever had. Also, this recipe relies on the glorious flavors of truffle butter. You must go to Whole Foods immediately and buy this:
It’s 10 bucks and makes everything from grilled cheese to popcorn that much better.
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
(recipe based on La Tartine Gourmande)
You will need:
1 lb of Jerusalem artichokes (pick the least knobby ones for ease of peeling)
1 tsp truffle butter
1 large russet potato
2 celery stalks
1 fennel bulb
2 shallot chopped very finely
1 small sprig rosemary
3 cups water
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs crème fraîche
Italian parsley for garnish
Salt and pepper
1. Chop the celery, potato and fennel into small pieces and the shallots into tiny pieces. Heat the oil in a pan and add the shallots and rosemary and cook for 5 minutes on low heat.
2. Add the truffle butter to the pan and add the celery, potato and fennel and bring the temperature up to medium. Cook for ten minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Add the water and bring to boil. Then cover the pan and simmer for about 25 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat and let cool for 20 minutes off the stove. Add to a blender or food processor and blend until creamy. Add the crème fraîche, blend again and then salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley.