Thursday, June 10, 2010

Potage Parmentier

I first stumbled on to Julia Child's recipe for potage parementier- that is, potato soup - in the book Julie and Julia, which is a story about a woman named Julie who cooked her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
In the story, Julie is having a particularly bad day at the office, goes to the grocery store and buys a few random things and then proceeds to make potato soup, which is heavenly.
This week, I seem to have gotten some mysterious upper respiratory thing - which is unusual because A. It's June and B. I never get sick.
I get sick so rarely that when I do, I become a big whining baby who mopes about feeling tired and sorry for herself. So I was rereading Julie and Julia and read the part about Julie making potage parementier and thought, "this is exactly what I need right now."
Potage Parmentier has three ingredients: potatos, leeks and water.
Unfortunately, I didn't have leeks. But I did have three tiny onions from the CSA that were just begging to be a part of some delicious soup. So the potatos and onions got put into a pot with water and I wandered back to the couch for 45 minutes.
In the book Julie and Julia, Julie talks about how Julia (man that's confusing) says you should use a food mill to mash up the leeks and potatoes because the soup should have bits in it and not be totally smooth - because that would be "un-French." She uses a potato ricer instead.
Well too bad. I have neither a food mill nor a potato ricer. But I do have a very handy 3 cup food processor that whirred those potatoes, water, and onions into a smooth, velvelty soup that "smells good, tastes good and is simplicity itself to make."
Top with some fresh chives and a pat of butter and you have an incredible meal. While I enjoyed the book Julie and Julie, as well as the movie, I thought the whole "cook your way through a complicated French cookbook" was a little hokey. I mean I'm all for setting silly challenging goals, but that's a lot of butter. And I'm sure there are a lot of things in there I wouldn't like to eat.
I had contemplated buying the cookbook too, you know just to have it. But then I realized I have several cookbooks I never use now, so why get another tome to add to the collection?
After trying this recipe, though, I'm reevaluating that decision.

Potage Parmentier
recipe adapted from this one I found online.

1 pound potatoes, sliced
3 small onions, sliced (about 1 cup sliced onions)
2 quarts water
3 tbsp chopped chives
1/4 cup butter

Boil water and submerge onions, potatoes. Simmer for 45 minutes. Use whatever kitchen tools you have to puree the potatoes and onions. top with freshly chopped chives and butter. Yum.
Julie of Julie and Julia book still has her blog online. Check it out here.

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