the importance of buying Basil

I’m just mad about Basil, but Basil’s not mad about me…..which is disappointing. It may be that I’m too demanding; too in Basil’s face. I want him with me all the time, and Jenny’s OK with that, by the way, but it’s a one way street. Much as I pamper and refresh him I have only to turn my back for a minute for the luxuriant, glossy leaved, Basil that accompanied me home to revert to a drear, drooping,  dullard completely devoid of taste. I have planted and potted Basil to no avail. The only reliable solution has been to pick up a fresh Basil whenever I see one……a sort of herbal Grinder. The thing with Basil is to use it fresh and to use lots of it. The Light Basil Sauce, from “The Provencal Cookbook” by Patricia Wells, is a wonderful example of how addictive is a hit of Basil……it’s served with a very good white bean soup which works very well in the warmth of this soft underbelly of summer.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
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22 Responses to the importance of buying Basil

  1. Lovely recipe… odd that basil is a difficult plant for you, when you grow so much else. There are a number of cultivars – is it worth trying another? x

  2. Sue says:

    Oooh, delicious – thanks for posting!

  3. Great soup! I have fresh basil not fresh beans. The beans must taste divine! One out of 2 ain’t bad!

  4. Linda Duffin says:

    My father in law used to grow the most spectacular basil in his Suffolk garden. It must be the soil, because it doesn’t do well outdoors for us. We grow Genoese basil in the greenhouse successfully though, usually from seed, although we have been known to pick apart those supermarket pots and pot on the seedlings. Greek and Thai basil do well for us outside in pots. Don’t give up! Maybe it’s a question of finding the right variety for you, as Lynn says. The soup looks divine.

  5. I love it too and it seems to love my kitchen windowsill in England. In Spain it just bolts and goes to seed. Beautiful soup, will be making this!

  6. Eha says:

    No problem growing any kind of basil here from September to May . . . . then one’s purse has to be wide open for the rest of the year . . . like the simple soup and oh, so love the amounts of garlic you use . . .

  7. Great to see you here again, your inspiring words along with a great recipe. I made almost the same soup the other, but just with garbanzo beans. Indeed Basil has a droopy nature, yet the flavors are majestic.

  8. I also am addicted to basil but for the life of me I have never made this sauce. Winter is a misery for me without basil.

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