Saturday, January 29, 2011

Potage Parmentier

A few weeks ago, walking through the farmer's market with family and friends, my friend Valerie picked up some leeks.  At that moment, I realized I had no idea what to do with a leek.  I saw them there every week, or more accurately, didn't see them there because I had mentally blocked them out as an option for purchase.  So this was my big chance, "What do you so with those?" I asked.  She says they are great for potato leek soup.  Kind of like an onion, she says.  Onions I can handle.  They are like a big 'ol green onion.
Then, more recently I started reading "Julie & Julia" and very early in the book she makes Potage Parmentier.  Which is potato leek soup.  A sign?  I say yes!  So I picked up some leeks, potatoes and well....that's it.  This (supposedly) wonderful soup has only two real ingredients.  I don't count the salt and butter because I already have them at home.
So I cut up the potatoes,
I'm not much for measuring, unless I'm baking, so this is my 1 pound of potatoes....give or take.  In the book she has a meditative experience peeling potatoes, so I tried to hone in on the act of peeling to really get into that cooking zen.  I have to admit that I was more worried about catching my fingers in the peeler than anything and didn't 'get it'.  I did, however, feel quite purposeful while cutting them.  I thought, "This is what people have been doing forever.  Potatoes are like the ultimate back-to-basics food."  A knife cutting through a potato is some how fulfilling.  (Is it obvious my baby was sleeping?  Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to connect to the mighty potato at all).  Next, leeks!  They even smelled a bit oniony when I cut them.  Three cups of leeks to my one pound of potatoes.

Then, 2 quarts of water plus one tablespoon salt.  I have nothing to measure a 'quart' with so I guesstimated.  Oh, and (per a suggestion) I replaced some of the water with broth.  Then it simmers for 45 minutes.

Then you're asked to smoosh it up with a fork.  Or a food processor.  This is when I start to think that measuring would have been a good idea.  There seems to be an extraordinary amount of liquid.  Nothing like the pictures I see online.  Dang it!  So I messed up.  It was still tasty.  The very last request from the recipe is that you stir in a pat of soft butter to your bowl while it's hot and just before you eat it.  For how very few ingredients this recipe has I was super impressed with the taste.  I had my reservations, and I was proven wrong.  
Next time, more measuring!!

1 comment:

  1. I love that "Potato Leak Soup" in french sounds so much yummier than in English. :)

    Isn't a great easy soup? I have added chopped bacon at the end and it's a great addition.