Potage Saint Germain avec Fond Blanc de Veau
I’ve always thought using stock cubes is kind of half-arsing it but convenience has overruled any ambition of doing it all from scratch. And now, having done my first stock from scratch using the feet and other unidentifiable parts of baby cows I can safely say that the gag reflex is another very valid excuse for half-arsing it.
I knew the meat modules would make me a wee bit uncomfy but I was gearing up for dealing with proper, big hunks of meat to sear and prod. So when I got a calf’s foot plonked onto my mise en place I had a bit of a rude awakening. The sad looking foot, and other bits and bones had to be hacked up and tossed into a pot of cold water, brought to the boil. I thought I sucked it up pretty well and held myself together, until I saw all the scum, blood, fat, grime, rise to the surface. So gross.
I thought the soup was a gonner for me as I didn’t think anything that looked like that could taste anywhere near edible, or that I could even stomach the idea of scummy soup. However, when we’d stuck the Garniture Aromatique (carrots, onions, cloves, leeks, celery, bouquet garni) in and let it simmer for a few hours it smelt so amazing I was drooling all over my apron.
Potage Saint Germaine is a soup made of dry split green peas, with the usual carrots, onions, and leek, bacon and a ton of butter. It smelt so warm and promising even when I was just sauteeing the bacon and onions in butter. I was buttering it up from the start, through to the middle, and right up till the end along with half a cup of cream. Gave it a blitz, plated up and dashed it to the chef, and only then I realised I’d forgotten to season it with salt and pepper. Duh.
Chef’s Verdict: Consistency good. Seasoning?
Potage Saint Germain
Smoked bacon lardons, a handful
1/2 onion, chopped finely
1 carrot (sliced into 2mm)
1 leek (light green and white part only, sliced into 2mm)
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 cups of green split dried peas, blanched
2l stock (veal, beef, chicken, whatever)
Half cup cream
Salt and pepper
Chervil to garnish
1. Melt butter (all but one tbsp) in big pot. Sautee bacon lardons for 3-4 mins over medium heat
2. Add in onions and stir, cooking till translucent
3. Toss in the carrots and leeks and cook for 2 mins
4. Toss in the garlic and cook for 3-4 mins
5. Add the green peas and cook for 2 mins before pouring in the stock and bouquet garni. Simmer for a while. A long while. The peas need to get super overcooked.
6. Once the peas are mushy enough, blitz the soup, pass through a big sieve, and bring back to the boil. Add in bits of butter and the cream. Stir, season, garnish, serve.