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Kalyn's Kitchen

Julia Child’s Brandade a la Soissonaise (White Bean Hummus with Garlic and Herbs)

Julia Child’s White Bean Hummus with Garlic and Herbs gets extra flavor from fresh herbs! And Julia’s tasty white bean hummus served with low-carb pita bread is low-glycemic, dairy-free, meatless, and vegan, and if you skip the pita and use veggie dippers it’s gluten-free! Use Dried Beans Recipes to find more recipes like this one.

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Julia Child's White Bean Hummus with Garlic and Herbs found on KalynsKitchen.com

This marks the fourth year food bloggers have celebrated Julia Child’s August 15 birthday by cooking one of her recipes, and after seeing Julie and Julia last week, this birthday celebration seems even more fun. I got down my only Julia Child cookbook and searched for something that could possibly be made South Beach Diet friendly, and this recipe for pureed white beans with garlic and basil was the winner!

Julia says that this white bean hummus can be made with canned beans, and the amount specified for the beans is exactly what I measured from one can of beans, which seems like good evidence that the cooking goddess did indeed use canned beans. The book also says the recipe can be made in a “super-blender-food-processor” which is what I used!It surprised me to see that the recipe from a book published in 1970 included tahini paste (which Julia called “sesame seed paste”) so if you made this with garbanzo beans you could probably get away with calling it Julia Child’s hummus. I used white beans and increased the amount of basil a little, and ate it with low-carb pita bread, wishing I was in Paris sharing the plate with Julia and Paul.

Julia Child's White Bean Hummus with Garlic and Herbs found on KalynsKitchen.com

I made a double batch so I’d have leftovers in the fridge, so be aware that amounts in these photos are two times what the recipe says. I started with canned Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained in a colander. You can see from the holes that some kind of pest is eating my basil, but luckily I still had enough to use a generous amount of chopped basil. I used the food processor to partially chop the basil before I added the other ingredients, because I wanted finely chopped basil in the finished dish. Here’s how the white bean puree looked after I pureed the beans, lemon juice, tahini, and garlic. Decidedly short on looks, but long on flavor.

Julia Child's White Bean Hummus with Garlic and Herbs found on KalynsKitchen.com

Serve with low-carb pita bread or use veggie dippers for a version that’s gluten-free and South Beach Diet Phase One.

More Recipes from Julia Child:

Spaghetti Marco Polo from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Beef Bourguignon from Simply Recipes
Julia Child’s Eggplant Pizza from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Julia Child’s Waterzooi from Nami Nami
Julia Child’s Cucumber Salad from A Veggie Venture
Julia Child’s French Bread from Andrea’s Recipes
Vegetable Crepe Torte from A Fridge Full of Food

Julia Child's Brandade a la Soissonaise (White Bean Hummus with Garlic and Herbs)

Fresh herbs give Julia Child’s White Bean Hummus with Garlic and Herbs extra flavor.


  • 1 can white beans (recipe says garbanzo beans or black beans can also be used)
  • 20 leaves fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice (or more)
  • 1/4 cup Tahini paste (or less, if you’re not sure how much you like tahini)
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic (or more)
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 T olive oil (plus more for drizzling on top if desired)
  • chopped parsley for garnish, optional (could also garnish with other herbs)


  1. Empty the can of white beans into a colander placed in the sink, rinse well with cold water and let drain at least 5 minutes.
  2. While beans are draining, wash basil leaves, spin dry in salad spinner or dry with paper towels, then put basil in the food processor and pulse until roughly chopped.
  3. Add beans, fresh lemon juice, tahini paste, and minced garlic and process until beans are well pureed, about 1 minute.
  4. When mixture is blended, add olive oil through the feed tube, 1 T at a time.
  5. Taste mixture to see if you want more lemon juice, then season with salt and fresh ground black pepper and pulse a few times to mix in.
  6. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired, and serve with pita bread, veggies, or crackers.


This recipe slightly adapted from my only Julia Child Cookbook – From Julia Child’s Kitchen.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Julia Child’s White Bean Hummus with Garlic and Herbs will never be low-carb because of the beans, but canned white beans are a perfect low-glycemic food, and this dip without pita bread would also be suitable for any phase of the South Beach Diet. Served with low-carb pita bread, whole wheat pita bread, or whole-grain crackers, it would be phase 2 or 3 for South Beach. You could serve with celery, red bell pepper, or broccoli dippers for phase one.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, you can sign up for a free membership with Yummly and use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information. Another option is entering the recipe into this Recipe Nutrition Analyzer, which will calculate it for you.

Online Recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking:
Blogging the Art of French Cooking is an amazing compilation of posts by bloggers, re-creating all the recipes from Julia Child’s famous book, created by Whisk, A Food Blog.

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31 comments on “Julia Child’s Brandade a la Soissonaise (White Bean Hummus with Garlic and Herbs)”

  1. Only had cannellini beans ….Delicious!!

  2. I make this with black beans all the time. Really great.

  3. What a beautiful dip. I just got some basil plants for my windowsill so I'll be trying this soon!

  4. Loving this, Kalyn! Thank God I have white beans in the pantry. 🙂 I adore anything beany, and your puree looks amazingly good. Thank you so much for taking part in the celebration!

  5. I really like the sound of a basil white bean hummus!

  6. This sounds really good. I have several Julia Child cookbooks and am looking forward to trying to cook from them soon.

  7. This recipe sounds really good!

  8. I have been reading your blog for weeks now after going back on south beach. You have inspired me with a lot of new dishes, and this one looks just as amazing. Thank you!

  9. Hah! I'm sure most of Julia's recipes are anti-South Beach. Looks like you found a winner though!

  10. This sounds like it would be great spread on a sandwich made with leftover chicken too. Thanks for the great recipe, Kalyn–and wasn't Julie & Julia fun?

  11. I'm obsessively working on printer friendly recipes (all of 2009 done!) so I'm even worse than usual responding to comments. I do read and appreciate them though. Glad people are liking Julia's version of this; loved the basil flavor it in myself.

  12. Looks great. Thanks. I have all of Julia Child's cookbooks, I guess the reason I'm so chubby. She definitely was my idol and I cooked many of her wonderful recipes over the years. I always go back to her rabbit cooked in red wine, with prunes. Delicious. Happy Birthday Julia, RIP.

  13. looks great! Julia is one of my heros! Now I want to blog something for her birthday!

  14. Mmm, this sounds like something the kids and I would LOVE. I cannot wait to try it. I have some white beans just begging to be used too …

  15. This is the first Julia Child recipe I've seen around the blog world that has made me go OOOOH I want to make this! Perfect choice.

  16. This looks great!
    Just be careful, "Brandade" means salt cod so if you are ever in a French restaurant be forewarned! 🙂

  17. Deliciously simple – that's what I love about many of Julia's recipes. (And I'm dying to see the movie!)

  18. oh YUM! That sounds amazing.

  19. White bean puree is one of my favorite things to make, although I've always cooked it and served as a side dish. But I love this version – it sounds like a great no-cook dip perfect for a hot summer day.

  20. That looks wonderful! I wonder how hard tahini was to find back then? I love the addition of basil.

  21. Just came across your blog, I saw a free preview of the movie a couple of weeks ago and I loved it. I even bought Mastering the Art of French cooking. I started my own blog and I'm interested in participating in the Julia event so thanks for linking to it.

    This hummus looks delicious, I'm a big fan of hummus. I'll have to try Julia's version!

  22. I saw the movie last night, and can't wait to try some of her recipes again from my own copyof her book. This one's a keeper.

  23. What a wonderful take on hummus. I like the addition of hummus and, really, anything with tahini gets my vote. This recipe shows that Julia appreciated the simple recipes as much as the elaborate ones.

  24. Oh Kalyn this looks so delicious…
    thanks for the link to the Julia birthday blog event too- I will have to go through my JC books and come up with a dish for my blog- fun!

  25. Gotta try white bean hummus. I've had it before at a tapas bar and it was delicious!

  26. Oh yeah! Julia does it again. I know this will be on the table soon.

  27. My mother made this for years – so so so good. I had completely forgotten about it! Your version looks fantastic!

  28. I love white bean hummus- and with fresh basil, garlic and olive oil- so Italian. It would be delicious spread on a cooked pizza crust topped with a fresh spinach salad.

  29. I am loving this! I am sure the basil brings out a fabulous flavor. I will be trying this one soon! Thanks!

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