Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Cooking like Julia, in under one hour!

The first recipe in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" is Potage Parmentier, Leek and Potato Soup. It's simple, takes little time to make and, most of all, it is delicious!

Practicing my knife work for culinary school led me to make a good pot of Potato and Leek Soup last evening. I small diced 1 pound of potatoes and thinly sliced 1 pound of leeks, put them in 2 quarts of water, tossed in 2 tablespoons of salt and simmered for 45 minutes. Then I mashed the softened veggies with a fork. Just before serving, off the heat, I stirred in 2 1/2 tablespoons of softened, unsalted butter. To add color, mince some chives or a little parsley to garnish and serve.

Start to finish -- 1 hour. The working part of the recipe took 15 minutes.

A couple of important steps for the novice cooks: Peel the potatoes before dicing; wash the leeks thoroughly to remove dirt that is embedded in the tight folds of the leaves.

It's a great place to start making Julia's recipes. The result is a soup that she is seen making in the photo and that she describes: "Leek and potato soup smells good, tastes good, and is simplicity itself to make."

(Photo credit: media.onsugar.com)


  1. But if one is not a human dicemaster, can one just haphazardly chop
    the potatoes to the same effect? Is it important to dice them or can I
    just rough cut them after peeling? If you say the latter, I will make
    the soup this weekend! It sounds delightful.

  2. Rough cut is fine. Make certain that you keep the pieces as close to the same size as you are able and somewhat small. Same size assures even cooking; small assures e cooking within 45 minutes. Enjoy!

  3. I would rather put in less effort with the knife and let them cook
    longer while I do other things. I'm glad to know this will work! Good
    luck with your knife skills. We'll be thinking about you on Friday!