One year in the apartment we found a pair of German knickers. Another time there was a French wedding photo album left behind in a wardrobe; not the actual proper album, but one of those printed books of the day, which was fun to look through. And ages ago someone Dutch left their Photoshop for Dummies book, and it’s still there on the bookshelf, unwanted. This year someone just before us left a basil plant by the kitchen window. We rehydrated it, tended it each day, and at the end of our two weeks we ate it mashed up in a soup au pistou, shared with ten others. Kind of a nice book-ending of a holiday stay.
It’s Jean-Marc (my beau-frère’s beau-frère) who is the provider of Provençal fare at its easiest and inherited best. Last year his moules farcies, this year a pesto soup.
Here’s a three-by-three snappy photo record of the whole soupy caboodle. I’ve done the caption text above the photos, which is possibly wonky as an approach, but I have a boggling, sweaty-brained head-cold and everything’s wonky today.
1. Left – the tended and donated basil plant, post-haircut. Top Right – Minou, the gingery cat, being head-tickled by me. Bottom Left – the impressively hill-angled side gate to JM’s garden; with handle and latch just a little disappointingly levelled in line with social expectations.
2. Top Left – diddly little barbecue-crisped-up shrimps, in garlic and chilli; our amuse-bouche amusingly for jabbing at with cocktail sticks. Top Right – mini macaroni going into the long-simmered beans and vegetables in their stock. Bottom panel – JM’s homemade pesto about to go in; 10 minutes after the pasta, and 20 minutes before the serve.
3. Top Left – the Soupe au Pistou in its ready-to-serve fantasticness. Green and glossy and gloopsome enough to be able to stand a spoon up in it; at least that’s the way it’s loved around here, not the runny stuff, or clear stuff, but wholesome and chompy and lush – basily, beanly delicious. Right-hand Panel – my only photo of the soup as served, as I wasn’t about to hang around much composing shots, when I needed it composing in my tum. And Bottom Left – the additional generous evening’s treats of Lili’s home baked galettes, which we adore and which came home with us; and the rhythmic supply of mojitos as made by our nephew Mikey.