To me, the word rustic means things are not neat, not uniform, something that has a lot of character.
Well, Session 1 at Le Cordon Bleu showed that the French obviously don't share my definition of rustic. This vegetable soup recipe was used more as a demonstration of knife techniques and methods of cutting vegetables. Everything was cut precisely into tiny little pieces of uniform size before going into the stockpot.
Brunoise: small cubes of vegetables of 2mm squared in size.
We also learned about paysanne, mirepoix, julienne- terms I had heard and used before but never knew the exact definitions of.
At the practical today, it took way too long to cut everything up- I would say I was peeling/ brunoise-ing/ paysanne-ing for close to an hour an a half! It made me realize just how amateurish my knife skills are. The chef graded my soup and advised the addition of petit sel, a little more salt.
In any case, this soup was very fresh and clean tasting even with a base of bacon & butter. Still, there is the option to add toasted baguettes & gruyère cheese should one please. Why am I not surprised that cheese is added to potage here?
It's been a tiring two days, even though demonstration was yesterday and today was the practical. Tomorrow we have a demonstration and a practical immediately following. Should be fun but probably exhausting!