Blogger's Note: I was going to feature this post last weekend but it was Oktoberfest weekend and I did not feel right posting a French dish on a German food weekend. It gave me more time to write this, after I enjoyed the spaetzle and sweinebraten.
I found this recipe in my backlog as I was looking for one of my muffin recipes. I thought this was a great candidate for my hubby to cook. His criteria: no more than 10 ingredients, simple instructions. I can't blame him; cooking during the week can be tricky. This was actually had 11 ingredients, but I think "salt and pepper" in one line threw him off.
That's why Michael Symon's 5 in 5 book is perfect for us. #unsolicitedplug
According to Wikipedia, "Potage (from Old French pottage or potted dish) is a category of thick soups, stews, or porridges, in some of which meat and vegetables are boiled together with water until they form into a thick mush."
Potage has its origins in the medieval cuisine of Northern France and increased in popularity from High Middle Ages onward. A course in a medieval feast often began with one or two potages, which would be followed by roasted meats.
Anyway, this recipe appealed to me because it was simple and involved economical ingredients. I believe the most expensive ingredient was the bacon. The most challenging part of this was prep (and explaining to my husband what a Haricot Vert is and what are acceptable substitutes).
I was intrigued so I volunteered to make it. I not Maddify this recipe too much. I was not too familiar with this recipe, so I wanted to try it as is. The only change that I made was added one more strip of bacon. It seemed appropriate.
Here's the slightly modified recipe. Bon Appetit!
Farmer's Soup (Potage Cultivateur)
From Pascal Rigo, "La Boulange: Cafe Cooking at Home"
As published in The Contra Costa County Times
- 2 leeks, rinsed
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 waxy potatoes, such as red or Yukon Gold, diced
- 1 turnip, diced
- 2 celery ribs
- 3/4 cup haricot verts (if you can't find haricot verts, just use green beans)
- 1/4 head of Savoy cabbage (I actually messed up and bought Napa cabbage, I think it worked out)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 slices of bacon (yes, I added an extra one - Pascal Rigo used only 3)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Trim the leek ends and halve the leeks lengthwise. Thinly alive the white and green parts discard the rest.
- Peel and dice the carrots, potatoes, and turnip. (I try to get it the same size so it cooks evenly)
- Chop the celery.
- Cut the haricot verts into 1/2 inch lengths.
- Core cabbage and cut the leaves into thin shreds.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add bacon; cook until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add leeks and stir to coat with bacon fat.
- Add carrots, potatoes, turnip, and celery to the pot. Add salt and pepper (I added about a pinch of salt and pepper because the bacon has enough salt).
- Add enough water to cover. Cook for about 5-10 minutes.
- Add cabbage to the pot. Add more water to cover the cabbage; bring to a boil.
- Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Simmer gently for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender.
- Add haricot verts; cook 5 minutes or until tender.
I really enjoy this recipe and we will make it part of our winter rotation. It's very hearty and filling. The bacon added a beautiful smokiness to the soup and for me was completely unexpected. It was a good balance. I got to remember that when I am experimenting....uh, creating recipes. It may be already at the border and using 5 slices may be too much.
Since I made it for dinner, I thought serving it with pork chop and rustic bread (with butter) would be appropriate. I even used Herbes de Provance on my pork chops. Perfect match... Even though this was probably the first evening when I used almost a stick of butter when cooking.
Warning... Prep can take a while. My knife skills are not that great, and it did take me a while to chop all of the veggies. Fortunately, chopping veggies can be my R&R time. I call it my meditation or chill time.
Anyways, now I am intrigued by Potage and looking up different varieties of it. I think this fall maybe full of experiments with French soups.
... and Sweinebraten.
... and Sweinebraten.