Sunday, November 25, 2012

Potage Parmentier (Leek or Onion and Potato Soup)

 Saturday night I decided to finally cook a recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  I've had this copy for a while now, and just have never cooked from it.  I got it from my mother-in-law who had an extra of this classic cook book.  Julia Child is one of the co-authors of the book, and a pioneer chef who taught Americans to cook.  I probably procrastinated cooking a recipe from this book because I was a little fearful of how advanced some of the recipes in this book are.  I've seen Julia Child's show, she makes everything look so easy, even though it isn't!  Turns out this recipe I made was easy enough to make, a little time consuming but easy.  I also got to use my new food mill from Sur La Table

In Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the recipe says you can use either leeks or onions, I chose onions.  It also says you can add other vegetables like, carrots, string beans, cauliflower, broccoli, or anything else you think might go with the soup.  I added one cup of carrots to the soup since I had carrots lying around.

Here's what you'll need for the soup:
a 3 to 4 quart saucepan or pressure cooker
food mill (optional)
3 to 4 cups or 1 lb. peeled potatoes, sliced or diced
3 cups or 1 lb. thinly sliced leeks including the tender green; or yellow onions
2 quarts of water
1 tablespoon salt
4 to 6 tablespoons whipping cream or 2 to 3 tablespoons softened butter (I used butter, but I used the amount you'd use for whipping cream by mistake)
2 to 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or chives (or 2 to 3 teaspoons dry parsley or chives;  I used dried parsley)

Either simmer the vegetables, water, and salt together, partially covered, for 40 to 50 minutes until the vegetables are tender;  or cook under 15 pounds pressure for 5 minutes, release pressure, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
Mash the vegetables in the soup with a fork , or pass the soup through a food mill.  Correct seasoning.  Set aside uncovered until just before serving, then reheat to the simmer.

Off heat and just before serving, stir in the cream or butter by spoonfuls.  Pour into a tureen or soup cups and decorate with the herbs.
Enjoy!  By the way not only did this taste delicious, it smelled incredible while simmering.  Add some shredded cheese for a bit more flavor.  :-)

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