This is Raymond Blanc’s small tribute to ‘Maman Blanc’, and Papa Blanc, too, as most of the vegetables would come from his garden. The success of this soup depends upon the freshness and quality of the vegetables used. However, you can vary the vegetables and herbs according to the season. Chervil is one of his favorite herbs and is very popular in France but hardly known in the UK, which is a great shame. This soup would always be served in Raymond’s home.
- Serves : 4-6
- Preparation time: 30 mins
- Cooking time: 15 mins
- Special equipment: Blender
Ingredients for the soup:
- 15g Butter, unsalted
- 125g 1/2 medium Onion, chopped 1cm
- 60g 1/2 meduim Leek, chopped 1cm
- 175g 2 meduim Potatos, washed, peeled and chopped 1cm
- 15g 1/2 Celery, peeled and chopped 1cm
- 150g 3 medium Carrots, washed, cut lengthways and chopped 1cm
- 100g Celeriac, peeled and chopped 1cm (or celeriac tops)
- Garlic, small clove, roughly chopped (*1)
- 80g 1 medium Tomato, ripe, chopped
- 1cm Chervil stalks, parsley stalks & celeriac tops wrapped in a muslin cloth as a bouquet garni (optional)
- 5g 5 pinches Sea salt (*2)
- ½ g 1 pinch Freshly ground white pepper
- 400ml Boiling water
- 15g / 1 tbsp Chervil, chopped finely
Making the soup:
In a medium saucepan on a medium heat sweat (3*) the onion for 3 minutes then add the garlic, and the remaining diced vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and cook for a further four minutes, without colour. Add the boiling water. Gently simmer for a further 2 minutes. Taste and correct seasoning if necessary. Add the chopped tomato and chervil and serve. The soup can be pureed in a blender if you prefer a smooth texture
Chef’s Notes (*):
*1 Garlic – the British are now eating as much garlic as the French, which is great news! As garlic is a potent miracle food, protecting against heart disease, infections, and hundreds of other ailments. It is the best natural prescription for good health management!
*2 Salt – Always use the best salt with the least refining. Never use salt with horrible anti caking additives.
*3 Sweetening – by applying heat to the vegetables you are converting the starches into sugars, greatly enhancing the flavour of the soup.
This soup can be simplified by omitting some of the vegetables, or you could add any other summer vegetables such as French beans, Coco beans, spinach, Swiss chard etc. could be added or replace a vegetable in this soup.
Any pasta, any bean or pulse would also be a great addition to this soup, it could almost be turned in to a main course – and more garlic of course.
This soup is fantastic if it is finished at the last moment with a fresh pistou, here is Raymond Blanc’s recipe for the pesto.
Ingredients for the pistou sauce:
- 30g 1 handful Basil leaves and stalks, blanched for 10 seconds and refreshed (*1)
- 20g 4 clove Garlic, puréed (*2)
- 100m Olive oil, extra virgin (*3)
- 1 pinch Sea salt
- 2 pinches White pepper
Making the pistou sauce:
Purée all the ingredients in the liquidiser, taste and season with salt and pepper, reserve. Keep in the fridge until required.