Vegetable & Herb Soup


Summer Evening Dining

We won’t make any fuss, but what we have will be well-chosen, will make a satisfying meal and will go nicely with a glass of wine.
Elizabeth David, Cookery Writer, 1913 – 1992

On our first holiday in the village of Cognac, in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, I found a dusty cookery book entitled ‘French Provincial Cooking‘ by Elizabeth David. Since then, I have been hooked on her recipes. This is an adaption of her lettuce soup, Potage du Père Tranquille, which makes an ideal starter.

Elizabeth David
Vegetable & Herb Soup

Serves 4
910g (2lbs) leeks, cut into chunks * 200g (7oz) celery, sliced * 2 tbsp olive oil * 1 lemon, juiced * pinch of salt & freshly ground black pepper * 200g (7oz) each of spinach, green peas and shredded lettuce * 1.15 litres (2 pints) water * 2 tbsp milk * splash of cream * parsley and mint, for decoration

Put the olive oil into a thick-bottomed saucepan and warm. Add in the leeks, celery, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Simmer slowly for 20 minutes. Add the spinach, peas and lettuce, stirring. Add the water and simmer for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Blend the soup in a food processor. Add the milk and more if it is too thick. Divide into warmed soup bowls, add a splash of cream with a teaspoon and decorate with parsley and mint. Serve with warm crusty bread.

I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.

This recipe comes from the section THE FRENCH CONNECTION, a selection of authentic French recipes.


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