Velouté of carrots with curry

The term “velouté” indicates that the base for the soup is a béchamel sauce. Sometimes a “liaison” – a mixture of an egg yolk and some cream – is added as well.

6 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups of chicken broth
3 Tbsp of butter
2 Tbsp of flour
pinch of curry, salt and pepper

  • In a medium saucepan, brown the onion in 1 Tbsp of butter.
  • Add the carrots and the curry.
  • Cover with the chicken stock, cook until tender (about 15 to 20 minutes).
  • Drain the carrots and purée in the food processor.
  • Reserve the liquid.

In another saucepan make the béchamel:

  • On low heat, melt the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter and add the flour.
  • Mix well.
  • Slowly add the reserved liquid and bring to a boil.
  • Add the puréed carrots and season to taste.

Veal stock

Brown veal stock (fond brun de veau).

10 lb of veal bones
2 onions, quartered
2 carrots, cut in half
2 stalks of celery 1
leek, cut in half
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 bouquet garni
about 1 gallon of water.

  • Preheat oven 450°F.
  • Arrange the bones in a large roasting pan and brown on all sides, turning as necessary.
  • Brown the carrots and onions for the last 20 minutes of the roasting time.
  • Transfer to a large stockpot and add the rest of the vegetables and the bouquet garni.
  • Deglaze the roasting pan with some water after discarding the fat.
  • Add this liquid to the stockpot and pour in enough water to cover all the bones by about 2 inches.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Then reduce and continue cooking for at least 6 hours, skimming and degreasing as necessary.
  • Strain off the liquid and reduce it by half in a clean pot.
  • Cool and store in covered containers or continue to reduce by half (demi‑glace) or to a syrup (glace).

 

Soupe au pistou

This soup owes its name to the pistou paste (pesto) which is added before serving and consist of fresh basil, garlic and olive oil. In summertime when the tomatoes are good, their pulp can be added to the pistou paste. A traditional dish such as this one does not have a recipe set in stone. Each family has its own variation.

Soup

1/2 lb of beans – a mixture of pinto beans (or red kidney beans) and navy beans
1/4 lb of fresh lima beans if available
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 lb of green beans
4 onions
2 leeks
4 or 5 celery stalks
6 carrots
6 zucchinis
1 small head of green cabbage
2 or 3 potatoes (optional)
3 Tbsp of olive oil
Bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaf and parsley)
salt and pepper 
parmesan cheese

  • Follow the instructions on bean packages since some varieties of beans should be soaked overnight.  Dry beans need to be parboiled, so cook them for about 1/2 hour in 8 cups of salted water and let them soak.
  • In the meantime, string the green beans if needed, snap off ends and cut into pieces.
  • Peel and slice the leeks, the onions, the celery and the carrots.
  • Peel and dice the potatoes if you include them.
  • Dice the zucchini, unpeeled.
  • Coarsely chop the cabbage.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan.
  • Add the onions and the leeks.
  • Cook on medium high until golden brown (be careful not to burn).
  • Drain the beans and add them to the pot along with all the other vegetables including the fresh lima beans.
  • Add enough water to cover the vegetables.
  • Add the bouquet garni, salt and pepper.
  • Cook slowly, covered, for 1 1/2 hour or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add the pistou to the soup and cook a few more minutes.
  • Serve immediately with some parmesan cheese.

Pistou

2 cups of fresh basil
4 to 6 garlic cloves
salt and pepper
1/2 cup of olive oil

Place garlic, basil, salt and pepper in a food processor or a mortar and blend to a smooth paste.  Slowly pour in the olive oil.  Put in a bowl and cover with a thin layer of olive oil if not used immediately.

Mirepoix and tomato soup

Mirepoix is the name given to the combination of diced carrots, celery and onions.

1 quart 14 oz can of chicken stock (or  homemade stock)
3 carrots
2 celery stalks
2 large onions
a handful of spinach leaves
1 leek
3 tomatoes (in winter use Italian canned tomatoes)
2 Tbsp of sun dried tomato paste
thyme, bay leaf, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper
olive oil
provolone cheese (grated)

  • Dice the carrots and celery. Slice and coarsely chop the onion and the leek. Slice the spinach leaves. Peel the tomatoes and discard the seeds. Chop in small pieces.
  • In a soup kettle, brown the onion in 2 Tbsp of olive oil, add the carrots, celery,  leek and sweat the vegetables together for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock and throw in the spinach leaves. Mix the tomato paste with a little bit of the stock to dilute it and add to the pot as well.
  • Add the herbs and the garlic and cook gently for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Serve with French bread and provolone cheese.

Note:   You can thicken this soup by adding some couscous to it.

 

Mama’s lentil soup

2 large or 4 small onions
3-4 carrots
3-4 celery stacks
1 bag of lentils
bay leaf
thyme
curry 

  • Simmer onions until brown.
  • Sauté carrots and celery.
  • Add lentils and three times as much water.
  • Add bay leaf and thyme.
  • Cook slowly on low heat until lentils are soft (about 1 hour).
  • Add curry near end of cooking process.
  • Remove bay leaf before serving.