Potage Parmentier or as it is more commonly known, Potato Leek Soup; is a great quick-ish family meal. This is and has always been on of my favorite go-to rainy day/winter dishes.
Some recipes I have previously used usually call for about 3 leeks and about 3 lb of potato. This time around I used Julia Child’s recipe from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” as I am attempting to work my way through the book. (For those of you whom have not read my past two or three blog posts. read them HERE -> FAMILY MEALS, FAMILY MEALS PT.2 and CULINARY COMPREHENTION)
The wonderful thing about Potage Parmentier (Potato Leek Soup) is how versatile it can be. You don’t have to use leeks, you can use regular white, yellow or Spanish onion, shallots (for a lighter more garlicy taste) or even scallions. You can use butter or Grape/olive oil if you are vegan or are concerned/cautious about fat/oil intake.
The only off-book thing I did with the recipe is I used chicken broth instead of water, mainly because I needed to use it up, and because I have always preferred using stock for added flavor for this soup. You can also use vegetable broth but avoid beef broth as it will discolor the final dish, making it more brown-yellow than the creamy white subtle green it is supposed to be.
The Whipping cream can be replaced with half and half, whole milk, 2%, 1%, fat free, coconut milk (although will give it a strong taste) if you plan on using a nut milk I suggest using a unsweetened Almond, Soy, or Hemp as they have more subtle flavors that wont over-power the dish.
In “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” the next several pages actually contain several variations for this recipe including a water cress soup and a vichyssoise (cold soup). Many Cream style soups follow the same basic methods found in this recipe. One soup I am not particularly looking forward to making is “BOUILLABAISSE” or more commonly known as “fish head soup” but technically you don’t HAVE to use fish heads. Its really called that as chefs would use the remnants of the “catch of the day” to make the soup, so as not to let it go to waste. Waste not want not…. more want not. In her book Julia Child introduces the recipe as follows:
“You can make as dramatic a production as you want out of a bouillabaisse, but remember it originated as a simple, Mediterranean fisherman’s soup, made from the day’s catch or its unsalable leftovers, and flavored with the typical condiments of the region-olive oil, garlic, leeks or onions, tomatoes, and herbs. The fish are rapidly boiled in an aromatic broth and are removed to a platter; the broth is served in a tureen. Each guest helps himself to hath and eats them together in a big soup plate.” Page 52-53 -Bouillabaisse -Soups “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Simone Beck, Lousiette Bertholle, Julia Child (p.69-70 in ebook PDF)
Potato Leek Soup Image: https://silk.com/recipes/potato-leek-soup
Potage Parmentier Recipe: Screen Shot from PDF copy- “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”: http://www.mediafire.com/file/hble408se6g4rxe/Mastering+the+Art+of+French+Cooking+-+Julia+Child.pdf