Friday, January 20, 2017

A Savoie Pairing: Soupe aux Cailloux + Gonnet Chignin #Winophiles


Here we are at the first 2017 event for The French Winophiles, a wine-swilling, food-loving group started by Christy of Confessions of a Culinary Diva and, now, jointly coordinated by Jill of L'occasion and Jeff of Food Wine Click. Here's Jill's full invitation for this month: here.

The French Winophiles are headed to Savoie which is a wine region on the eastern edge of central France.


What Everyone Else Poured...


 In My Glass...
Okay, so, here we are again at a wine event during my very restrictive Whole30 Adventure. Boo. But, since I went to all the trouble to track down a bottle of wine from the region before I committed to the Whole30, I decided that I would taste one teeny, tiny sip and not consider it a cheat.

This wine from Domain Gonnet is a single varietal, being made entirely from 40-year-old Jacquere vines. I loved learning that this vineyard uses sustainable growing practices. And the grapes for this wine are harvested by hand before being pressed and fermented in a stainless tank.

On the nose it's fresh with a hint of melon. And its crisp finish was a nice contrast with the heavier, hearty soup I made.


In My Bowl...
While I was researching traditional recipes from the area, I came across a recipe for Soupe aux Cailloux, or stone soup. I knew I had to make it because it's a book that my family loves and something we cooked several times when the boys were smaller.

Stone Soup is an folktale in which hungry out-of-towners manipulate the locals into sharing their food. In the version we have*, soldiers arrive to a village, carrying nothing more than a large, empty pot. The villagers, unwilling to feed strangers, have squirreled away their food. The soldiers fill the pot with water, drop a large stone in it, and place it over a fire.

The curious villagers inquire as to what the soldiers are cooking. "Stone soup!" The soldiers say that it tastes wonderful, but it just needs a few things to improve the flavor. This conversation repeats as the soldiers trick the villagers into bringing out onions, carrots, cabbages, potatoes, and more.

Finally, the soup is done and the stones are removed. Everyone in the village feasts, including the soldiers. Though we've always just imagined the soup had stones in it, this time I actually put our whiskey stones in it...just for fun!


Ingredients
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • 1 leek, trimmed and diced
  • 1 bunch of celery, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
  • 4 carrots, cut into coins
  • 2 pounds pork (I used boneless ribs)
  • 1 green cabbage, cored and sliced into wedges
  • 1 large potato, scrubbed and cubed
  • 4 to 5 C stock (I used homemade vegetable stock)
  • 1/2 C fresh herbs (I used a mixture of parsley, oregano, and thyme)
  • freshly ground salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • stones! (just for fun)*

Procedure
In a Dutch oven or large souppot, heat the olive oil. Add the shallots and leeks. Cook until they begin to turn translucent and start to caramelize. Add in the pork and brown on all sides. Remember: The more you sear the edges, the more flavor you get!


Add the celery, fennel, and carrots to the pot.


Add in the cabbage wedges and potato cubes. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. The pork should be tender and falling apart. Stir in the herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with stones, if using. Just be sure to remind diners that those are not edible.


Next month, we'll be exploring the foods and wines of Corsica. Join us!

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more, but it helps support my culinary adventures in a small way. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

   

4 comments:

  1. The soup sounds delicious. Keep in mind you can fully taste wine without ever swallowing it. No small sip needed, take a bit sip, swish it around, then spit. Feel the acidity, weight, and length that remains on your palate.

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  2. Such a cute idea Cam...bet you can't wait to have a real glass of wine.

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  3. This is so, so fun! I remember making stone soup after reading this book when I was a child. And the whiskey stones: perfect!

    I am always looking for ideas that I can make with mix-n-match from our kitchen; this idea is a special way to enjoy!

    Thanks for always bringing creativity to us!

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  4. I love a good fable Cam! And our soup sounds delicious! My hats off to you for the self-restraint you're showing during the Whole30 period. Cheers!

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