The Suitcase Lady


June 18, 2013, 11:07 pm

For thirty years, Andre Soltner was the chef at Lutece, a paragon of New York dining establishments. Now retired and eighty years old, he recently stated in an interview, “I count my cooking by the looks of satisfaction on the faces of the people who have eaten my food. I don’t want them to be impressed; I want them to be pleased.”

I love his philosophy and seek to follow it. He was cooking haute cuisine and I am cooking nightly dinners in my home, but his goal can apply to both. A meal doesn’t have to be an elaborate feast to give pleasure.

Summer is almost upon us bringing all manner of wonderful fresh vegetables from our gardens and farmers’ markets. This is the perfect time to share one of my favorite recipes which was introduced to me by a good friend who loves to cook. This woman is so talented in the kitchen that she got me to eat grits and love them. She also introduced me to fresh picked radishes split halfway through with soft butter on the knife, known as radis au beurre in France.

Fresh Green Pea and Mint Soup with Lemon Cream

2 Tbs. butter
½ cup chopped shallots
4 cups green peas (fresh or frozen but not dried)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup chopped fresh mint
2 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup cream
Zest of ½ lemon

Melt butter, cook shallots and add peas, broth, ½ of the mint, 2 cups of water and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until peas are tender. Puree in blender.

Whip cream, add lemon zest and put a spoonful on top of each serving with a sprinkle of mint.

Serves 4 to 6

Happy eating this summer!


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