New recipes each month, using the best of the season's produce, including quick and easy suppers and tasty desserts.
October 2009 - VEGETABLE & CHERVIL SOUP, FAÇON MAMAN BLANC
A small tribute to “Maman Blanc” and I should say to “Papa Blanc” too as most of the vegetables would come from his garden. This soup offers a multitude of flavours varying to the seasons but is particularly delicious as Autumn sets in. The choice of vegetables and herbs is completely yours: Chervil is one of my favourite herbs; it is very popular in French cuisine yet is little known and less used in Great Britain. You can also blend the soup for a delightful texture – a spoon of crème fraiche would always be welcome.
medium heat sweat the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and leeks in the butter
for 5 minutes (no colour) to extract maximum flavour. Season with salt and
freshly ground white pepper.
the boiling water, courgette and tomato (the boiling water will reduce the
cooking time and also keep the lively colours).
Fast boil for a further 5
in the butter (or sour cream or both!) and add the Chervil. Taste and correct
the seasoning if required.
into a large tureen and serve to your guests.
The key to this soup is its fresh, clean flavour. It is critical that you do not muddy the wonderful flavours of your vegetables by over-cooking. Just a few minutes will do.
| Photograph © Jean Cazals
medium finely chopped
clove, finely chopped
large, finely sliced
medium, outer leaves removed, sliced 1cm and washed
sticks, sliced ½cm
white freshly ground
large, cut in half lengthways and sliced ½cm
ripe, cut in quarters and roughly chopped
butter (or sour cream)
This is just the start of a wonderful soup. You could omit the sour cream and chervil and add pesto for a delicious pistou soup. Cooking the soup with a teaspoon of green curry paste: coconut milk, lemon grass, lime leaves, chilli & galangal would produce a delicious soup with flavours from Thailand.
This soup offers you a chance to enjoy a wide range of vegetables each with valid nutritional benefits.
Vitamins are classically defined as a group of organic compounds required in very small amounts for the normal development and functioning of the body. They are not synthesised by the body, or only in insufficient amounts, and are mainly obtained through food (Machlin and Huni, 1994). There are thirteen vitamins: four are fat-soluble, namely vitamins A (retinol), D (calciferols), E (tocopherols) and K (phylloquinone and menaquinones) and nine are water-soluble, vitamin C (ascorbate) and the B-complex made up of vitamins B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B6 (pyridoxal, pyridoxamine and pyridoxine), B12 (cobalamin), folic acid, biotin, niacin and pantothenic acid. No single food contains all of the vitamins and therefore a balanced and varied diet is necessary for an adequate intake.