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Soupe de Bonne Femme -French Old Wives Soup

 Soupe de Bonne Femme (Old Wives Soup)

Soupe de Bonne Femme or Old Wives Soup

Soupe de Bonne Femme


from cookbook Françoise Bernard, ma cuisine d’aujourd’hui (see below)

This recipe makes a super easy, budget and delicious ‘terrier’ (from the earth) soup. There is a secret on why this tastes so good. Keep reading to find out what that is.

Ingredients for Soupe de Bonne Femme:

(for 4 persons, double ingredients for a larger crowd)

  • 3 Leeks
  • 3 Tablespoons Salted Butter,
  • 8 Ounces of Potatoes (about 2-3 medium),
  • 6 cups & 1 Tablespoon of Water,
  • 4 Toasted Bread Slices,
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Cut off larger green endings of leeks and set aside.  Wash tender white part of leeks well and cut into small circles.
  2. Heat 1 Tablespoon of butter in a soup pot. When butter is warm, add circled leeks.
  3. Cook leeks for 5 minutes in butter.
  4. Add 1 Tablespoon of water and cook for 5 minutes more on low heat.
  5. Peel potatoes and cut them into circles.
  6. Add potatoes to leeks.
  7. Add 6 cups of water, salt and pepper to taste.  Let soup come to a boil and then lower heat.
  8. Let soup simmer very slowly for 45 minutes.
  9. Butter 4 pieces of toast (with salted butter) and put one piece in the bottom of each soup bowl.
  10. Pour the soup directly on top of the toast and serve immediately.

The secret on why this easy soup’s good taste is because of  these buttered toasts that sit in the bottom of your soup bowl!  Using good bread for the toast (like a French or Italian “baguette,” smeared with salted butter) adds the delicious touch.

The aroma is amazing but I like the crunch and contrast of textures when tasting the toast that is just starting to soften in your bowl with the hot soup.

You can adapt this soup by cooking a bit of bacon in the soup pot before the leeks are added.  Serve with a green salad for a light meal or before a main dish for a bigger meal.  

If you like easy French cooking, check out one of Françoise Bernard’s cookbook translated to English, geared to the anglophone audience.  Here is the direct link to for more information:

Cannot vouce for this cookbook directly, but I use her French version and the recipes are easy and delicious.  See the link to the French version below.

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  1. Steamed Leeks with Citrus Soy Vinaigrette | brightonyourhealth - April 21, 2012

    […] Keep the green leaves and use them in soups or stock. Here is a link for a recipe I make called soupe de bonne femme where you can use your green leek leaves. In this leek and vinaigrette recipe I chose to steam the […]

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