Bundling up in this cold winter can only do so much to keep you warm. While I was studying in France, I remember seeing vending machines that dispensed steaming cups of potage, a smooth and thick peasant’s soup of winter vegetables, and thinking that the French had the right idea. Healthier than a cup of hot cocoa, and as simple as a soup can be, potage crécy uses just carrots, potatoes, leeks (or onions in this case), and a spot of milk.
This is my favorite kind of dish: filling, delicious, easy, quick and made with ingredients I pretty much always have around. I found this recipe in a rare but well used cookbook from the General Federation of Women’s Clubs called “America Cooks” that we came across in a used book store for one dollar years ago. I’ve since tweaked the recipe so it is a bit different from the original, though I must say that if you ever find a copy of one of these books, it is a great resource to have around.
Recipe: Potage Crécy
Makes 3-4 servings
Prep time: up to 45 minutes, Active time: under 10 minutes.
- 1-2 large carrots, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3-4 potatoes, chopped (about 3 cups)
- 1 large onion (about 3/4 cup)
- water to cover vegetables
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 to 3/4 cup milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- nutmeg (optional)
- immersion blender (recommended) or standing blender
Add the chopped vegetables to a pot and cover them with water (cover them with boiling water to speed things up). Salt the water and vegetables. Cook on high heat until the vegetables are soft and easily pierced by a fork (about 30 minutes).
Once vegetables are tender, puree the soup with an immersion blender (or, alternatively, allow to cool and blend in a standing blender in batches if necessary).
When smooth, put the puree back on medium heat and add the butter. Add the milk a little at a time until the soup reaches the desired consistency (more milk will make a thinner soup). Season to taste.
Serve with a piece of crusty bread, croutons, crackers or any other soup accoutrement. Add a bit of cayenne for a spicy kick and a bit of extra heat to warm you through.
One year ago: Flexible Bean and Barley Soup
Two years ago: Beef and Lamb Chili
About this author: I'm a New Yorker who would rather cook than go out to restaurants. Sometimes I think I may be in the wrong city for that. Then I remember the exotic ingredients I'd be hard-pressed to find if I lived somewhere else. My cooking style is an eclectic range of everyday-American, Italian, middle-eastern, with extensive forays into Japanese cuisine, and some pit-stops into Indian and African cuisines. I love to try my hand at recreating dishes I taste. While I enjoy most anything with a flavor, from high cuisine to instant junk food, I have a soft spot in my belly for home-style cooking no matter the geographic or ethnic origin. Read more from this author...