Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Soup From the Vegetables of My Neighbors Gardens

Twenty years ago when I first came to France, soup was an important part of the French menu. There seemed to always be some sort of rich creamy soup for the first course. This is not so true today, as lighter cuisine has become the popular mainstay.

Soups, however, are still traditional French fare, especially here in the country. So when my neighbor arrived with some lovely slices of pumpkin from his garden & said, "For the soup!" I, of course, knew that I would be making soup.

It was made even more certain, when another neighbor came by bringing a beautiful big round squash & herbs from her garden. The ingredients were almost complete right there.

There is not much to it, just peel & chop your vegetables. I peeled the green skin off the squash, because as you can see above, its inside is a lovely golden color & I wanted to end up with a nice pumpkin color soup.

I started to peel the pumpkin, too. However, I realized that the skin of these smaller, sweeter, French pumpkins does not need to come off & stopped while I was ahead.

I chopped some carrots & also a potato, which did not make it into the photo. Next I sautéd onions & garlic, then added the chopped vegetables, a bouquet of herbs & water to cover. I brought it to a boil, then simmered until tender.

Toward the end of cooking, I chopped & added one yellow tomato & one red, ever mindful of the final color of my soup. Salt & pepper & a little squeeze of lemon to freshen the flavor were all that was needed to finish.

It would have been a lot quicker if I had had a full size blender or food processor, but even with my little magic bullet sort of device, it did not take too long to purée the soup into a creamy consistency.

It was just a matter of doing it in batches, until the softened vegetable mixture was completely puréed & transferred into a second pot. I was trilled with the beauty of the color & the creamy texture.

Et voilà, the soup from the vegetables of my neighbors gardens was complete & tasted every bit as good as it was pretty to look at!


  1. Sally, I love pureed soups like this, but I never make them. They are one of my cherished memories from that long ago summer near Bourges where the cook (of course there was a cook) Madeleine made homemade soup then pureed it with the strangest looking mixer. I still don't have one. I'll put it on my list. You inspire me.

  2. YUM! wishing it wasn't so hot here so I could make some :)