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One French word: hiver, a French recipe: potage aux légumes d’hiver

Hiver, masculine noun (un hiver, l’hiver, des hivers) = winter (pronounced eee-vaire, ahneee-vaire, leee-vaire, daisy-vaire, no particular stress, no s heard in the plural).

The seasons: hiver=winter, printemps=spring, été=summer, automne=autumn

Hivernage = overwintering

Adjective hivernal = wintery:  un temps hivernal = wintery weather (m); une nuit hivernale = a wintery night (f); des jours hivernaux = wintery days (; des étoiles hivernales = wintery stars ( All adjectives have masculine singular and plural, and feminine singular and plural forms to go with the noun they are describing, depending upon whether that noun is itself masculine or feminine, singular or plural. (End of grammar lesson for today.)

On to cooking. My recipe is for potage aux légumes d’hiver = winter vegetable soup, a hearty warming soup to come back to after working or walking in the cold.

For 4 people you will need:

  • a couple of good sized leeks
  • 200gr carrots
  • 200gr potato
  • a 1″ (2.5cm) piece of ginger
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • A handful of fresh parsley
  • 30gr butter
  • 2 stock cubes and 1 1/2 litres of water (or 1 1/2 litres of home made chicken stock)
  • some fresh cream


  1. Wash and slice the leeks.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the leeks and sweat (cook very gently), stirring occasionally, until transparent. They should not colour.

Les ingrédients pour mon potage aux légumes d’hiver

3. Peel and slice the carrots and potatoes. Add to the pan and stir. Cook gently for 3 or 4 minutes.

4. Peel and chop the ginger, peel the garlic. Add these to the vegetables.

5. Pour in the chicken stock or add the cubes and water, stir and turn the flame up high to bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.

6. Stir in some fresh cream, the amount depends on you really. I put about 10cl (a 20th of a pint). Blend with a soup blender, but not for too long so that the potato does not go goopy.

Potage d’hiver

This is a simple hearty soup that needs no garnishes other than fresh crusty bread.  Make lots, it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, and freezes well.

Bon appétit.


About OneFrenchWord

I was a professional linguist and have been a life-long foodie. I am now lucky enough to be retired and free to roam the beaches around my home at the tip of the Finistère (Brittany, France). Writing is occupying a larger place in my life, with this blog and a children's book in preparation. I shall feel much happier calling myself a writer when I have published a book. And so posts on OneFrenchWord will be published first as an e-book, my ambition being to see a glossy volume on French language and cuisine in print some day. So keep reading, and snap up the book when it appears!

7 responses »

  1. Just got fresh leeks in my CSA box, will make this one tonight. Thanks!!

  2. looks like amazing, comforting food :)

  3. Oh, Caroline, I just made this soup. I have made many versions of leek soup in my day, going all the way back to Julia Child in 1968. Yours is perfection. The proportion of carrots to potatoes to leeks with the little ginger and garlic additions, well, makes this soup on the the best I have ever tasted. The cream adds to the flavor also. Thanks, ever so much.

  4. Good! I’m so pleased that you have tried it and that you like the slightly different touch; i’ve been eating it the last couple of days; very comforting. Thank you for letting me know!

    • I made it in the morning because that is my best cooking time. (too tired in the afternoon, and I like to garden then) I had only eaten a light breakfast, so I ate one and a half cups for breakfast. It was so good, I was only going to just taste it, but I had to eat more. I used really good cream from a local organic dairy.

  5. A lot of the success is in the ingredients isn’t it. I keep saying “good quality” this and “good quality” that; of course one can cook with whatever one has to hand, but the end result is worth the work if the ingredients are really good.

  6. Another good recipe. Yum. We are having vegetable soup today!


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