Soup with S and P
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La Belle Cuisine - Favorite Recipes

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Favorite Soups



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“A home is a place where a pot of fresh soup simmers gently on the hob,
filling the kitchen with soft aromas… and filling your heart,
and later your tummy, with joy.”

~ Keith Floyd

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La Belle Cuisine


Michele's Broccoli, Zucchini
and Leek Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 large leek, white and light green portion only,
trimmed, washed, chopped
2 bunches broccoli, trimmed washed, chopped
3 medium zucchini, trimmed, scrubbed, chopped
6 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
8 ounces mushrooms, scrubbed, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
White pepper to taste
Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, to taste
8 ounces sour cream or plain yogurt

In large kettle sauté coarsely chopped leek in 1 tablespoon butter until
soft. Add the broccoli and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper to taste
and cook, stirring, a minute or so. Add the chicken stock. Bring to boil,
cover and simmer 15 minutes. Purée the soup in batches in a food
processor, and return to kettle.
Sauté the mushrooms in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter until the liquid they give off evaporates. Deglaze the pan with white wine, and continue
to cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add mushrooms and liquid to
soup along with lemon juice, parsley, basil, white pepper and Tony's Seasoning. Stir in the sour cream and continue cooking just long enough
to heat through. Do not allow the soup to boil.
If serving cold, do not add sour cream. Refrigerate and then whisk in
plain yogurt. Serves 4 to 6.


A Soulful Chicken Soup
by Julia Child
Food & Wine Jan
uary 1995

Food & Wine - One Year Subscription 

Q: "When is a cream soup not a cream soup?"

A: "When it is made with a purée of rice and white onions. My cream soups look and taste just like conventional cream soups with all those delicious creamy fat calories, but you can actually make them with no fat at all, and few, if any, of
your guests will ever know.
The following cream of chicken soup gets its unbelievably velvety and smooth texture from the rice and onion purée, so the cream I add at the end is for flavor and enrichment alone. To make a fat-free version, cook the onions for the base
in a little stock instead of butter, and omit the cream that finishes the soup. It won't taste quite the same, but this is the price you pay for abstinence.
The formula for the purée is simplicity itself. You will need a blender because he purée must be absolutely fine. In the old, pre-electric kitchen days, a fine purée
like this would have had to be passed through a hair sieve - meaning that you
first pounded the cooked rice and onions in a mortar, then pushed them through
a fine mesh stretched over a drum-shaped form with a wooden pestle, and finally scraped the purée off the other side with a tortoiseshell scoop. That took some doing, and I know since it's how we puréed in my Paris school days in 1949."

Rice and Onion Soup Base

For about 2 quarts of soup, you will want:

2 cups of thinly sliced onions
2 tablespoons of butter
8 cups of homemade chicken stock or
canned broth
1/2 cup of raw white rice

In a 3-quart heavy stainless saucepan, cook the onions in butter over
moderately low heat for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the
onions are very tender and colored no more than a buttery yellow.
(In current cuisine language, this is known as "Sweating the onions".)
Pour in 4 cups of the stock, stir in the rice and simmer for 20 minutes
or more until the rice is very tender. Purée the soup in the blender
until very smooth and lightly thickened, adding a little more stock if
needed. Return the purée to the pan, add the rest of the stock and
season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cream of Chicken Soup Printaniere
Makes about 2 quarts

This onion-accented creamy chicken soup garnished with fresh
vegetables is perfect with a dry, fruity, blush wine, such as the 1993
Sanford Pinot Noir-Vin Gris from California, or a hearty red, such
as the 1993 Georges Duboeuf Syrah from France.

Prepare the Rice and Onion Soup Base using only 5 cups of the
chicken stock.
Meanwhile, peel and cut into thin slices or julienne enough onions, carrots, white of leek and tender celery stalks to make about 1 cup each. Arrange the vegetables in a stainless saucepan with 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, 1/2 cup dry white French vermouth
and the remaining 3 cups chicken stock. Bring to the simmer and cook
for 4 minutes, skimming as necessary, until the chicken is just lightly
springy to the touch. Remove the chicken and let the vegetables simmer
for 5 minutes or more until tender. Correct the seasoning and remove
the pan from the heat.

While the vegetables finish cooking, cut the chicken breasts lengthwise
into julienne. Add the chicken to the vegetables and let steep for several
minutes or longer to pick up the aromatic flavors. Add the Rice and Onion Soup Base to the saucepan and bring just to the simmer. Taste very care-fully and correct the seasoning. Remove from the heat. Ladle the soup
into warm bowls and top each serving with a dollop of sour cream or
crème fraîche and a sprinkling of parsley if you wish.


Cream of Mushroom Soup:

Make the Rice and Onion Soup Base with a cup chicken broth and 6
cups of milk
. Meanwhile, dice 1 quart of fresh mushrooms. After puréeing the base, bring it to the simmer and fold in the mushrooms
and 1 sprig of fresh tarragon (or 1/4 teaspoon dried). Simmer for
10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/2 cup or so of sour cream,
simmer a moment more and carefully correct seasoning, adding drops
of lemon juice if needed.

Cream of Cucumber Soup:

Peel and roughly chop 4 large cucumbers and toss with 2 teaspoons
each of salt and wine vinegar.
Make the Rice and Onion Soup Base as directed and simmer for 15 minutes, then add the cucumbers and their juices. Simmer 5 minutes more and purée. Whisk in
1/2 cup or so of
sour cream
, which will whiten as well as enrich the soup.

You can go on and on with this formula, applying it to all kinds of
ingredients: broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, artichoke bottoms, sole,
sea scallops and so on.


Potage Cultivateur
Gourmet Archives

1/3 cup dried white beans
1 small onion stuck with 2 cloves
2 large carrots, sliced thin, plus
1 small whole carrot
1 parsley sprig
1 small bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
6 cups chicken stock
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 turnips, trimmed, quartered
lengthwise and sliced thin
3 cups shredded cabbage
White part of 3 leeks, quartered lengthwise,
washed well and sliced thin
3 ribs celery, sliced thin
2 boiling potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
Minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Soak beans overnight and drain. Combine them in large saucepan with onion, whole carrot, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, and enough cold water to cover mixture by 2 inches. Bring to boil and simmer, covered partially,
for 1 1/2 hours. Drain beans, discarding vegetables and herbs.
In a kettle melt 2 tablespoons butter, add turnips, carrots, cabbage, leeks, celery and potatoes. Cook vegetables covered with a buttered piece of foil and lid over low heat, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Do not brown.
Add beans and stock and simmer 25 to 30 minutes until vegetables are tender. Transfer 1 cup of vegetables with slotted spoon to blender or
food processor, purée them, and stir purée into the soup. Bring soup to
boil, remove kettle from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons butter. Season to
taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley. Serves 4 to 6.


Potage Parmentier

In addition to being delicious, inexpensive and simple to prepare, this leek
and potato soup is valuable due to its tremendous versatility. It can be the
base, or starting point, for a large variety of other vegetable soups. Suggested additions are cauliflower, broccoli, watercress, green beans, carrots, or even
zucchini if you wish. And in case you haven't guessed, this soup could very
easily become the famous Vichyssoise when enriched with cream and chilled. Serves 6.

1 pound russet potatoes
1 pound leeks
2 quarts white stock or chicken broth
Salt and white pepper
2 tablespoons softened butter (optional)
3 tablespoons minced parsley or chives

Peel and dice the potatoes. You should have about 3½ cups. Trim and
wash the leeks, leaving the tender green portion and discarding the tough dark green portion. (In case you have trouble finding leeks, just substitute yellow onions). Slice the leeks; you should have about 3 cups. Place the potatoes, leeks and stock or broth in a 3- to 4-quart kettle. Simmer them, partially covered, for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender. Purée the soup either by passing it through a food mill or puréeing
in a food processor or blender. The food mill is my preference. If using either electric appliance, please do not make baby food out of this soup. There should be some very small pieces of identifiable vegetable visible. Taste the purée and adjust seasoning as necessary. The amount of salt and white pepper required will depend upon the amount already present in the stock or broth. Just before serving, reheat the soup to the simmer, remove kettle from heat and stir in butter by spoonfuls, if desired. Ladle the soup into warm bowls and sprinkle each serving with the minced fresh herbs.
Since I am an avid watercress fan, my favorite simple variation of this
soup is to add fresh watercress when it is available. This can be done by
adding 1 cup (packed) watercress leaves during the last 5 minutes of
cooking. Proceed as in the recipe above.


The most exquisite soup I have ever tasted in my entire life was served in small, wonderfully warm and cozy family restaurant in a French village whose name
I do not recall. To say that this event took place over thirty years ago is at once
my excuse for not being able to pass along to you the name of the soup, the
restaurant, or the village - and - a strong indication that this exceptional soup
must have made an indelible impression.
Now that I know just a little bit more about cooking, I am convinced that this marvelous soup was a variation of Potage Parmentier. I will never know just exactly which vegetables Madame had available that day, but she certainly
knew what to do with them! Fortunately for all of us, the soup was brought to
our table steaming hot in a large tureen. We were free to have "seconds" if we wished. After the waiter had literally scraped the bottom of the tureen dry, I
recall my stepfather rather sheepishly requesting if we could possibly have
some more. Mais oui, m'sieur, tout de suite! It turned out that the patronne/
cook was so pleased at the success of her soup that she came running out of
the kitchen to our table to meet the very well satisfied customers, obviously
from l'Amerique. What a charming experience. Vive la belle France!

More favorite soup recipes:
Soulful, Soothing Soup
from Chef Keegan:
Crab and Mushroom Bisque
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Tomato Bisque
Family Favorites:
Gigi's Potage St. Germain
Michele's Mushroom Soup with Pasta
Michele's Potage d'Hiver 
New Orleans Navy Bean Soup 
Soupe à l'Oignon Gratinée

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