Potage (Winter Vegetable Soup)

Serves 4

Served with cheese and crusty bread

Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes

Shopping List

3 fat leeks
2 medium starchy potatoes
2 carrots
1 turnip
2 Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) if available
1 rutabaga, if you don’t find the Jerusalem artichokes
1 medium yellow onion
1 sweet apple, such as a Jonagold
1 bunch thyme
1 big chunk of great cheese such as Comte, a farmstead white cheddar, aged Gouda or another favorite (or smaller pieces of all of these)
1 or 2 loaves of great, crusty bread

Pantry Items

  • Bay leaves
  • Black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Sea salt
  • Tools

  • Bread knife
  • Dutch oven
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Strainer
  • Wooden spoons
  • Chef's knife
  • Immersion blender
  • Paring knife
  • Vegetable peeler


  • Wine: Sauvignon blanc
  • Dessert: Rice pudding
  • Game Plan

    When you walk in the door

    • Don’t refrigerate the cheese
    • Get out Pantry Items
  • Get out Tools
  • Assemble the ingredients
  • Open the wine and put it in the fridge
  • Prep

    • Trim and clean the leeks. Cut the white and the green part into 1-inch lengths, put them in a strainer and rinse them, just to be sure there’s no grit.
    • Peel the potatoes and coarsely chop.
    • Rinse, peel and coarsely chop the carrots, turnip, Jerusalem artichokes or rutabaga.
    • Rinse, peel, core and coarsely chop the apple.
    • Peel and coarsely chop the onion.
    • Peel 1 clove garlic and cut it in half.

    Start Cooking

    • Put all the vegetables, the garlic and the apple in the Dutch oven and cover by 1-inch with water. Add 2 tsps. salt, 2 bay leaves and 20 sprigs thyme.
    • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the water is boiling gently, partially cover and cook until the veggies are tender, about 25 minutes.
    • While the soup is cooking, set the table.
    • Put the cheese on a cheeseboard and have a piece with a slice of bread and a glass of wine.
    • Before you check the soup, slice the rest of the bread and take it, with the cheese, to the table.
    • When the veggies are tender, remove the pot from the heat and remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
    • Puree the soup, using either the immersion blender or a food processor.
    • Taste it for seasoning.
    • If you’re going to serve individual bowls, do so and drizzle each one with 1 tsp. olive oil.
    • If you’re going to take the soup pot to the table, remember a hot pad and the olive oil, for drizzling.
    • Everything is ready – don’t forget the wine!


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