Potage lyonnais

potage lyonnais2

Pumpkin soup, Lyon style

This rich soup of pumpkin, potato, cream and grated Comté cheese hails from Lyon, one of the gastronomic capitals of France. It works equally well as a starter or as the main course of a light meal, accompanied by a green salad.

If you enjoy fresh herbs with your soup, as I do, serve them on the side or sprinkle them onto the soup as you serve it. Traditionally, however, this soup is served as is, with a little more grated cheese — and possibly a few croutons — on top.

1-1/2 pounds (750 g.) fresh pumpkin
2 medium potatoes
1/2 leek (the white half)
2 tbsp. butter
4 cups (1 liter) water
2 tsp. sea salt or table salt
1 bay leaf
4 ounces (100 g.) Comté, Gruyère or a similar cheese
2 tbsp. crème fraîche or heavy cream
freshly grated nutmeg
finely snipped fresh herbs: dill, cilantro, or basil (optional)

Remove the pumpkin’s stringy interior and seeds. Using a very sharp knife, cut the pumpkin into large cubes. Slice off the rind, and cut the remaining flesh into pieces about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick.

Peel and cube the potatoes.

Rinse the leek and slice crosswise into pieces about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick.

Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Add the vegetables and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Be careful not to let the veggies brown.

Add the water, sea salt and bay leaf, and bring to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and cook until the veggies are very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.

Purée the soup. Return to a clean pot and place over low heat.

Add the cream and whisk to blend. Grate the cheese finely and whisk in. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary — the soup may need more salt. Using a nutmeg grater, grate in a little fresh nutmeg (too much would overwhelm the soup).

Serve piping hot, topped with a little grated cheese if you like, with extra cream and some finely snipped herbs on the side. Serves 4.


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One Response to Potage lyonnais

  1. Cathy Mosbrucker says:

    I made this soup this weekend. It was delicious. My leftover adverse roommate even had some the next day. Thank you Meg.

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