Skip to main content

The French Winophiles: Le Tourin Gascon a la Tomate #winophiles


Welcome to third event for The French Winophiles, coordinated by Christy of Confessions of a Culinary Diva. Here's her plan - we start with the Regions first and then move to the Appellations. The proposed schedule, based somewhat on the seasons is as follows:

  • June 20 - Loire Valley (click for my post: here)
  • July 18 - Provence or Corsica (click for my post: here)
  • August 15 - Southwest
  • September 19 - Languedoc-Roussillon
  • October 17 - Cote due Rhone
  • November 21 - Bordeaux
  • December 19 - Champagne
  • January 16 - Burgundy
  • February 20 - Alsace

To the Southwest of France...

We're referring to the region that's inland and south from the Bordeaux and Saint Emilion regions, Marcillac is a small area, but the area vineyards of Cahors, Gaillac and Bergerac are extensive and best known for their reds. The Cahors area produces some of the richest and darkest red wines in France, primarily using the Malbec grape variety, sometimes referred to as "black wine." Had I been able to track some down in time, I definitely would have tried it. But, as it is, I'm still looking!

In the Glass

While researching the area's wines, I opted to go with Armagnac, a distinctive brandy that's distilled from wine and produced in the Armagnac region in Gascony, in southwest France.

In the 14th century, clergymen claimed it had therapeutic benefits: "It makes disappear redness and burning of the eyes, and stops them from tearing; it cures hepatitis, sober consumption adhering. It cures gout, cankers, and fistula by ingestion; restores the paralysed member by massage; and heals wounds of the skin by application. It enlivens the spirit, partaken in moderation, recalls the past to memory, renders men joyous, preserves youth and retards senility. And when retained in the mouth, it loosens the tongue and emboldens the wit, if someone timid from time to time himself permits."

Those would all be nice effects of drinking Armagnac. I can't vouch for any of them, but I will say that it was a pleasant sip and added that je ne sais quoi allure to my dish. In the glass, it was a shimmering amber. On the nose, I detected some muted floral notes - think lemon blossom - and honey. And on the palate, it was mildly spicy, but rounded, with a strong taste of licorice.

In the Bowl

There is a traditional French dish made with ortolan, a small finch-like songbird. The dish is now banned due to the treatment of the bird - the ortolan is forcefed to fatten it, then it's drowned in Armagnac and roasted. Yikes! I decided to make a traditional Gascon soup, Le Tourin Gascon a la Tomate (Tomato Soup Gascon-Style).

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cored and cubed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 t fresh oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 C water
  • zest and juice from 1 organic lemon
  • freshly ground salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 T Armagnac + more for serving

Procedure
Heat oil in large souppot and add onions, shallots, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until onions are softened and beginning to caramelize, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. When they start to stick to the bottom, add the tomatoes, herbs, water, and Armagnac. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove from heat and blend - in batches - until smooth. Fold in the zest and juice from the lemon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, heat more Armagnac in a small skillet and drizzle it into the individual soup bowls. Garnish with fresh herbs.

Comments

  1. I wonder why they outlawed it LOL....isn't it amazing how we humans used to think? And isn't it scary how some of us continue to think? Your tomato soup sounds stunning and I'm glad you didn't have to drown anything in the armagnac but your sorrows. Cheers Cam.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your soup looks delicious. I love your pairing. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your soup looks delicious. I love your pairing. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Whoa! Glad you decided to use this traditional recipe and no birds were harmed in the production of this post!
    The soup sounds phenomenal - did you try it chilled?
    I love Armagnac too!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds like a delicious soup!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yikes...guess there was no SPCA back in the day! Your soup looks and sounds delicous! I've never tried Armagnac. I'll have to give a try!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Armagnac sounds delicious and your soup looks wonderful! We'll have to keep our eyes out for a bottle!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

#comfortfood: Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco with Bean Ragout

As one of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day Ambassadors ( I'm the Monterey #FRD2014 rep! ) I will be sent a copy of his latest cookbook - to cook from and write about. I can't wait. I do have to laugh though, because its title is  Comfort Food . And, according to a good friend:  I only make uncomfortable food . Oh, well. I can learn! To celebrate launch day - today - I'm sharing one of the recipes. Here's Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco alla Milanese recipe from his new cookbook, Comfort Food. And here's my adaptation. I typically don't eat veal, so I went to our local butcher for some lamb shanks sliced into an osso buco-style cut; but they had just sold their last shanks. Darn. But then I noticed the "never tethered...free to roam" on the veal package and decided to go for it. I added in shelling beans to make a ragout and served it over wild rice instead of risotto. Also, I used lots of different herbs in my gremolata instead of just pa

Learning About Chablis, A Compelling Label, and Gougères #PureChablis #Winophiles #Sponsored

  This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of  Chablis Wines   in conjunction with the  May 2021 Chablis  #Winophiles  event.  Complimentary wine was provided for this post  though no other compensation was received.  This page may contain affiliate links. Jill of L'Occasion is hosting the French Winophiles this month and we are turning our eyes towards the wines of Chablis. And Chablis Wines* graciously sponsored the event, sending sample to several members of our group. I will be sharing pairing for all of these soon. But I received my package at the final hour and only had time to explore one bottle so far. If you are reading this early enough, join in the live Twitter chat on Saturday, May 15th at 8am Pacific. Just follow the hashtags #Winophiles and #PureChablis. And be sure to add those to anything you tweet so we can see it. Here's what the #Winophiles crew is sharing about all things Chablis... Pinny at Chinese Food and Wine Pairing gives us All Things #PureCh