Potage, masculine noun (le potage, un potage, des potages) = thick soup (pronounced paw-ta-j)
Lots of different words for soup: la soupe, le bouillon, le potage, le consommé, crème de… (cream of… for creamy soups), le bisque, le velouté, le brouet…
Mange ta soupe, ça te fera grandir is a favourite French expression (eat your soup to grow big and strong).
La soupe populaire = a soup kitchen
Potage comes from potager = the vegetable garden.
It was cold this morning here, very cold, there was a ground frost during the night, so I thought I’d make soup. I have no old potatoes left, new potatoes are already on the market stalls, so I used orange lentils instead to make a potage poireaux/lentilles corail.
You will need for 4 people:
- One really large leek plus the tops off some smaller ones, or one large and one medium leek
- 1tbs butter to sweat the leeks
- 100gr orange lentils
- 2 bouillon cubes and a litre of water, or a litre of home made stock if you have it
- 1 scant level tsp of colombo powder or curry powder (colombo is a Jamaican mix of ground herbs and spices: chili pepper, mustard seeds, sweet chili, coriander, garlic and curcuma. It is quite powerful but more aromatic than bought curry powder. Do not be tempted to put more. Its purpose is just to give a hint of “something else”, not be overpowering.
- Wash and chop the leeks and sweat gently in the butter.
- Add the rinsed lentils and stir until the leeks have softened.
- Add the colombo powder, the bouillon cubes and the water (or home made stock) and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Whizz to a smooth consistency.
- Serve with a dash of cream and a little chopped parsley or any other herb of your choice (in other words, whatever you have on hand – I used pourpier = purslane).
Soups are simple, quick to prepare and endlessly wholesome and comforting.