Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Potage Parmentier or Potato Soup

Snowy days and soup just go together, which explains WHY there’s been a lot of soup recipes posted on the F&P blog. As you’ve seen from Grenville’s posts, it’s been SNOWing a lot and Beatrice has been busy in the F&P kitchen.

This Potato-Leek Soup was really simple, even using Julia Child The Way to Cook (WTC) which is a very nice cookbook that's not as involved as The Art of French Cooking (yes we did see Julie and Julia). This recipe doesn't use chicken stock, just water, leeks, potatoes and salt in the soup base. If you prefer, add chicken stock and then sour cream, milk or cream at the end, but it’s not necessary. How simple is that! Chilled, potato-leek soup is elegantly called Vichyssoise. (The recipe below serves 6-8.)

Potato - Leek Soup
4 C sliced leeks – white part
4 C diced potatoes (baking, russet/Idaho recommended - see F&P variation)
1 large onion, coarsely diced (optional)
6 to 7 C water
1 ½ - 2 tsp salt or to taste
½ C (or more) heavy cream, sour cream (optional)

Bring leeks, potatoes and water to a boil. Salt lightly, cover partially, simmer for 20 – 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.

F&P variations: Sweat leeks and onion in 3 tbsp unsalted butter for 10-15 min. until tender, just watch that they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan or get brown (trust me, they look better if not). While the WTC recipe called for using baking potatoes, this F&P version has white potatoes, the ones that Grenville used for Lazy Day Braised Pot Roast. Sometimes, you just have to use what’s available. Besides, it was snowing so there was no going out today. The soup was wonderful, especially served with Grenville's homemade rosemary bread.

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