Pure Vegetable Soup

Why have I hesitated to share this Pure Vegetable Soup? It’s pure and simple fresh vegetable genius; chunky, healthy and low in calories.

Moreover, this isn’t a recipe I’ve developed myself.  Apart from a few different vegetables, there’s no need to change anything from Raymond Blanc’s original recipe in my favourite cookbook, “Mange“. When I first received a signed copy of it as an Engagement present in 1996, I was terrified: the French gourmet recipes for guests all looked complicated.  Surely it was too difficult for me to try. However, years later, I realised with a little, insy-winsy bit of confidence, they were much easier than they looked.

Pure Vegetable Soup

Chunky Pure Vegetable Soup

These days, I normally blend soups to a smooth velouté or chowder consistency (see pumpkin & leek, mushroom cappuccino, smoked garlic and arugula (rocket)curried cauliflower with scallops, or sweetcorn and red pepper soups, for example), so that serving this chunky almost seems daring.
Is this life in the fast lane, darlings?

I served this to my French (Corsican) parents-in-law last week, as they’re total soup addicts like myself. Madeleine gave it a confirmed nod of approval, but she seemed surprised: they had soup with chunks in it growing up in Corsica. You know what? Me too!  I remember the chunky Scotch Broth (Janice has a good recipe at Farmersgirl Kitchen) with lamb and good old Lentil Soup (Christina has another good recipe with barley at Christina’s Cucina) with a large ham shank, when I was growing up in Scotland.

Somehow, going back to the “bits in it” is somehow satisfying and, while not a thick, hearty soup, the freshness of the herbs makes this a welcome starter at only 55 calories a bowl.  That’s before we add ripped off hunks of crispy French baguettes and lightly salted Normandy butter.

Pure Vegetable Soup

Fresh Vegetable Soup without the Stock

The secret to this recipe is the freshest of vegetables and respecting the short cooking time.  I know it’s tempting to use up these veggies at the bottom of the fridge that may be starting to wilt but please don’t! Honestly, if you use extra fresh, there’s no need for any vegetable or chicken stock – just the butter gives that added French touch and brings out the taste of the herbs, just thrown in at the end of cooking.  Chervil is best if you can find it, otherwise flat-leafed parsley is good.

5 from 3 votes
pure vegetable soup
Pure Vegetable Soup
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

A quick, chunky and healthy soup recipe that's perfect for any time of year, using the freshest seasonal vegetables and herbs

Course: Soup
Cuisine: British, French
Servings: 6
Calories: 55 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 20 g / 0.75oz Butter unsalted
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots finely sliced
  • 2 medium leeks outer leaves discarded, finely sliced
  • 1 small turnip (French navet) finely chopped into cubes
  • 2 ripe tomatoes chopped
  • 1 litre / 1.75 pints water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper according to taste
  • bunch fresh parsley or chervil roughly chopped (stalks removed)
Instructions
  1. In a large pan, gently melt the butter over a medium heat (don't allow it to brown). Sweat the peeled onion, carrots, and leeks gently for about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the water, the turnip, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, skimming off any impurities (foam) then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for up to 15 minutes until the vegetables are softened.  Add the tomatoes and chopped fresh herbs, cooking for another minute. 

Recipe Notes

Inspired by Raymond Blanc's Fresh Vegetable Soup with Chervil recipe in his book, Mange. If you prefer your soups smooth, then liquidise with a hand blender or food processor.

As I personally don't like celery, I have replaced one stalk of it with an extra leek - and adapt the vegetables according to season.  You could also use vegetable or chicken stock in place of the water but I find it's not necessary when using the fresh herbs.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

Pure Vegetable Soup

Pure Vegetable Soup with chunks and the freshest of vegetables

Monsieur Fine Bouche: French Gourmet Meal Delivery near Paris

Mention meal delivery and my clichéd image to date has been of oversized plastic containers on the back of screeching mopeds, risking life and limb to get extra fast food delivered – often with the contents merging in to its carton box and arriving just as soggy as the deliverer. So imagine my surprise when I discovered quite the opposite: a rather secret French gourmet meal delivery service in our neighbourhood, just west of Paris.

Monsieur Fine Bouche delivers freshly-prepared top quality restaurant meals at the perfect temperature using locally sourced fresh ingredients, direct to your doorstep (see zones near Paris*) within just 40 minutes by a chic waiter in a black suit.

French Gourmet meal delivery near Paris

French Gourmet Meal Delivery near Paris

I was thrilled to be invited along with my real-life Instagram friend, Geni Mermoud, to taste a 3-course menu of my choice from Monsieur Fine Bouche’s website, with each separate menu item prepared directly in front of us by jovial Chef Alexis Jordan at their impeccable kitchen in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. It’s just like a restaurant, except the clients are either at home, at work, in a park – just an astonishing 40 minutes’ away from receiving their meal after passing an order.

The choice of dishes change according to season but Chef Jordan continues his signature dishes, of which I tried two of them. There’s something for every taste: from healthy starters (entrées), mains (les plats), sides, salads, cheese or charcuterie platters, desserts, childrens’ menu options, and meals low in calories for those watching their weight.

French gourmet meal delivery near Paris

French gourmet meal delivery near Paris

The Signature starter dish, Salmon Gravlax with citrus caviar was a meal in itself. The salmon was extra succulent, marinated in coarse sea salt and dill, then plated beautifully on top of a waffle with a refinement you’d get in a French restaurant – if not more. Quite honestly, I’ve been surprisingly disappointed in some Parisian restaurants when a couple of slices of salmon arrives thrown on a plate with a wedge of lemon and tickly toupée of dill on the side – something we could easily do at home.

Instead, this arrives already plated with the citrus caviar a subtle, extra je ne sais quoi taking the dish to another level along with its bells and whistles.

French gourmet meal delivery near Paris

Monsieur Fine Bouche: French gourmet meal delivery near Paris

Meal Delivery Taken to the Next Level

It’s not just the food we found top notch: they’ve taken their delivery operations to the next level using high-tech gadgets (including car batteries, thermometers, and special ovens) so that the food arrives at the perfect temperature.  You ordered a medium-rare steak? It arrives via their delivery cars cooked to perfection, just as it was prepared in their restaurant-style kitchen.

They’ve also cleverly sourced the containers so that the meal comes as close as possible to serving each dish as it would be prepared in a restaurant.

As Geni said, “It’s like James Bond bringing you a meal!”

With asparagus season in full swing, sourced from the Ferme de Nangeville in the Central Loire, there are a few dishes to get asparagused. Fish dishes vary but this swordfish (espadon) was melt-in-the-mouth, served with a parmesan tuile, on a bed of polenta, roasted fennel and topped with sunny Provençal vegetables. Geni went for the most tender lamb, that just fell off the bone.

Heat Your Own

You can, however, ask for dishes to arrive unheated, so that you can do the rest at home (I thought of this as a sneaky cheats’ way, making guests think you cooked the dishes yourself!).  Precise re-heating instructions are personally adapted for each dish, depending on your oven at home. They prefer using a warm oven at around 120°C for, say 20 minutes, than to blasting the whole lot in the microwave, though!

Chef Jordan’s Signature Dessert

To be honest, I couldn’t even manage dessert at lunchtime and so, in true Monsieur Fine Bouche style, I took home Chef Jordan’s signature dessert, packaged neatly for my picnic later: La Feuillantine of 2 Chocolates and Passion Fruit with crunchy praline, topped with a white chocolate surprise including crackling sugar (sucre pétillant).  It’s how I love my dessert: not too sweet, light and with layers of different textures.  Divine!

French gourmet meal delivery near Paris

French gourmet meal delivery near Paris

Great for Picnics too!

Main dishes range from €17 to €23 and a gourmet Signature Menu comes at €35, including an artisanal fresh fruit  juice from Alain Milliat. Even their gourmet water options are well sourced:  Saint Géron sparkling and – for those of you who like to name-drop at the table, the still water is served at the Matignon – Treignac from the Corrèze.

Although they have options of French wine and Champagne, the beauty is to have a restaurant-standard meal at home with your own bottle – although their new Mojito cocktails do look rather tempting.  Also great for business lunches – they even accept ticket-restaurant lunch vouchers.

Free Delivery Zones Near Paris

* Monsieur Fine Bouche delivers free of charge to the following zones, a wide spectrum of towns west of Paris:
Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Poissy, Chambourcy, Fourqueux, Mareil-Marly, Marly-le-Roi, L’Etang-la-ville, Le Pecq, Le Vésinet, Chatou, Le Port-Marly.

My Conclusion

Personally, I don’t need a chic-looking waiter to deliver: what matters is the quality of the food – all beautifully homemade – and delivery. Value for money is excellent, and with delicious variety to their choice of seasonal dishes. How they manage to deliver to your door with dishes plated with such care and cooked to perfection is simply genius.

It’s impressive how big a zone they cover in this area and totally in love with their concept of a French gourmet meal delivered direct to you in 40 minutes after just a few clicks – it’s just enough time to get the wine organised, and even then they’ve got you covered!

* I’m excited to give you a PROMO CODE! *
Just mention MadAboutMacarons and receive €10 off your first delivery!

MONSIEUR FINE BOUCHE (MonsieurFineBouche.com)

Open: Tuesday-Sunday, 11am-2pm & 6pm-10pm

 

Disclaimer Note: I was not compensated for this post but invited to taste a typical menu. All opinions, as usual, are entirely my own. Although not required to be positive, I’m sharing this as I believe in the quality on offer to my readers.