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A Simple White Soup. Recipe

A Simple White Soup, also known as potage à la Reine, is a classic dish that dates back to the 18th century. It originated in French cuisine, where it was considered a royal dish, fit for queens and noble households. Over time, it became a popular choice for elegant dinners, and its simplicity and delicate flavors have stood the test of time.

Fun Fact: The name "potage à la Reine" translates to "soup in the style of the queen," referring to Marie Leszczyńska, the queen consort of Louis XV of France. She was said to have a particular fondness for this soup, hence its royal association.

Now, let's dive into the recipe for A Simple White Soup:

Ingredients:
- 1 knuckle of veal
- 1 chorizo sausage
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
- 2 onions, peeled and quartered
- 3-4 turnips, peeled and diced
- 1 blade of mace
- 2-3 quarts of water or weak broth
- Salt, to taste
- 1 sprig of parsley
- Whole white pepper, to taste
- Pounded vermicelli, for thickening (approximately 1/4 cup)

Instructions:

1. In a large stewpan, place the knuckle of veal and the chorizo sausage. The chorizo adds a subtle smoky flavor to the soup.

2. Add the carrot, onions, turnips, and blade of mace to the stewpan.

3. Pour in the water or weak broth, enough to cover the ingredients. The broth enhances the richness of the soup.

4. Season with salt, a sprig of parsley, and whole white pepper. The white pepper adds a milder, less pungent flavor compared to black pepper.

5. Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 2 hours. This slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together.

6. Skim any impurities or foam that rise to the surface during simmering. This step ensures a clear and pure soup.

7. After simmering, strain the soup using a fine-mesh strainer to remove any solids. This step results in a smooth and silky texture.

8. Return the strained soup to the stove and bring it back to a gentle simmer.

9. Gradually add the pounded vermicelli to the simmering soup, stirring continuously to prevent clumping. Vermicelli is a type of pasta that adds a subtle richness and additional texture to the soup.

10. Continue simmering the soup with the vermicelli for about 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked al dente.

11. Adjust the seasoning by tasting and adding more salt or white pepper if needed. Remember to do this gradually, as the flavors intensify during the cooking process.

12. Once the vermicelli is cooked and the soup is thickened, it is ready to be served. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a sprig of parsley for a fresh, vibrant touch.

Enjoy A Simple White Soup as a light starter or a comforting meal on its own.

Fun Fact: A popular variation of A Simple White Soup is made with chicken instead of veal. This variation is known as Potage à la Reine Blanche, and it is equally delicious and comforting.

Similar recipe dishes worth exploring are the classic French Potage Crécy, a vibrant carrot soup, and the velvety Vichyssoise, a chilled creamy potato and leek soup.

The history and evolution of soup recipes offer a glimpse into the culinary traditions and preferences of different cultures. Whether enjoyed by royalty or as a staple in everyday meals, soups continue to provide comfort and nourishment to people worldwide.

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