Back just after Christmas, I had this crazy idea. My Irishman had given me a copy of David Tanis’ brilliant book ‘A Platter of Figs’ and I had devoured it. Cover to cover in almost one sitting.
There were so many meals from the book that I wanted to cook which got me thinking…
Maybe I should have a project to cook them all?
Something like Julie and Julia where a New York blogger cooked everything from Julia Child’s ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’.
I sat with it for a few days and the idea only grew stronger. And so the ‘Jules & David Project’ was born.
Six months later, I’m happy to report that I’m half way through the meals and I’m so glad to be doing it. There have been so many lessons I’ve picked up along the way.
I’ve written about the detailed lessons for each meal so far in my individual meal posts which can all be found over here.
And the biggest lesson so far?
Trust. The. Recipe.
There have been so many times I’ve had my doubts about one of David’s meals and they’ve ended up being delicious. Or better yet, my Irishman and I have been completely blown away (in a good way).
Here’s the thing…
As a person who writes recipes for a living myself, I know how much care and thought goes into a recipe. I don’t write about a particular dish unless I know it tastes really delicious. To do otherwise would be pretty short sighted right? I mean who wants to follow someone who writes terrible recipes.
So the Jules & David Project has taught me something I would never have anticipated… Just because you think a recipe won’t taste that great doesn’t mean you’ll be right.
I’m looking forward to more ‘surprises’ in the next 6 months!
Davids Bean Soup
I prefer to soak my beans because I find them less ‘gass-inducing’ but if you’re short on time you can skip it… David does.
enough for: 4
takes: 2-3 hours plus soaking beans
500g (1lb) dried white beans
1 ham hock or large piece spec or bacon
4 onions, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Place beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Soak beans for 8 hours or as long as you’ve got.
2. Place hocks or bacon and onion in a large soup pot. Add 8 cups water and bring to the boil. Simmer for one hour.
3. Drain the soaked beans and add to the pot. Simmer for another 1-2 hours or until beans cooked and the ham is falling off the bone.
4. Allow soup to cool then shred the meat from the hock and return it to the soup, discarding the bones. Taste and season well. Either refrigerate or bring back to a simmer.
5. When you’re ready to serve, make the rosemary oil by placing the rosemary and oil in a small saucepan on a medium heat. When it starts to sizzle, remove from the heat.
6. Serve hot soup with rosemary oil drizzled over.
no soaking time – just add the dried beans to the pot at the beginning with the ham and an extra cup of water.
vegetarian – skip the ham hock and use vegetable stock instead of the water.
more veg – add chopped carrot, celery, sweet potato, potato, tomato and/or parsnip with the onion. Before serving stir through finely sliced kale, spinach or other greens.
rosemary oil alternatives – replace rosemary with sage leaves, thyme or 2 tablespoons chopped dried or fresh chilli.
different legumes – replace beans with lentils (no soaking), split peas (no soaking), chickpeas (soak) or other
dried beans (soak).
What about you?
Got a project or quest you’re working on? I’d love to hear how you’re finding it in the comments below.