Friday, February 5, 2010

Potage Crecy by Colleen

                                                                                                             Photo by Barbara
Colleen sent in this recipe and story just before we left on vacation.  Thanks!  Food is such an important part of our memories. I made it for lunch today.  Very soothing and satisfying.   

Hi Barbara,

Years ago, before we had kids, your parents came to visit. I took your mom to a place in Menlo Park called Allied Artists. It is a lovely group of buildings with Spanish-style architecture that houses all sorts of crafts people (painters, potters, needleworkers, weavers, lampworkers, etc.)

There was a restaurant run by the Women's Auxiliary to support Stanford's Children's Hospital. We had lunch and you could buy little recipe cards in the gift shop for your favorites. We had a wonderful carrot soup called Potage Crecy.

As I have been going through the photos, I've found all sorts of pictures of your mom. I even dreamed about her last night. I rooted around and found the recipe card and decided to make the soup in her honor and because it has been very cold and wet (i.e. soup weather.) It was as good as I remembered:

Potage Crecy

2 Tbs. butter
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
3 cups finely chopped carrot
1 quart chicken stock
3 tsp. tomato paste
2 Tbs. raw rice
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs. butter
Chopped parsley

In a heavy sauce pan, melt 2 tbs. butter. Stir in onions and cook until soft, but not brown. Add carrots, stock, tomato paste, and rice. Simmer gently, uncovered, 45 minutes. Put through a blender (or use an immersion blender). Season and stir in cream. Reheat and stir in remaining butter. Garnish with parsely. 6-8 large servings.

  • I got tomato paste with garlic by accident (type was too small to read at store) and that didn't seem to matter.
  • I also used regular, freshly-ground pepper.
  • I didn't finely chop the veggies - it is easier to just cook a little longer until the bigger pieces are soft.
  •  Plus I added a little olive oil to the onions and butter so they wouldn't burn.
  • The rice really thickens the soup, so I only used 1/4 cup cream and 1/4 cup of milk. You could leave both out entirely. I tasted it before I added the milk/cream and it was delicious.
Next time you come, we should go to Allied Artists. I haven't been in years because it was closed for refurbishments to make it earthquake safe. It is a lovely spot with gardens ( Good for photo-taking).

FYI: Crecy is an area of France, I think. Or maybe a town. My guess is a member of the auxiliary found this soup on her travels and brought it back to the restaurant.


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