Potage de Bruxelles

 I had a little conversation here a couple of days ago about emulsifying machines – which we would call blenders; I mentioned some eighty year-old recipes using an EM and it included Potage de Bruxelles which as you might imagine is a soup made from Brussels sprouts. Now this could sound delicious, intriguing or horrific depending on your thoughts on sprouts.

The old recipe I have includes onions which have been gently fried in butter, added to cold cooked sprouts, and cold cooked potato, warm milk and seasoning including nutmeg, all blended together and then heated to boiling point before serving… It seems to me the sprouts might have lost something of themselves in the process (although in the section dealing with cooking vegetables it is emphasised that they must not be overcooked!)

Here is a modern recipe:

  • 1  onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 oz butter (the original recipe says lard but I don’t think I fancy that!)
  • 12 oz Brussels sprouts
  • 10 oz cubed potato
  • 24 fl oz water
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 6 fl oz cream
  •   salt, pepper, paprika, ground nutmeg
  • optional bacon
  1. blend the onion and garlic
  2. fry in the butter until soft but not coloured
  3. put everything except the cream and sprouts in a saucepan and simmer until the potato is nearly cooked
  4. add the sprouts and cook briefly
  5. put everything in a blender and whizz until the soup is the consistency you like
  6. return to the pan and add the cream but don’t let it cook any more – check the seasoning and serve
  7. some recipes have pieces of cooked bacon scattered on top, or rashers of really crispy streaky bacon balanced on the bowl – I guess either to dip, eat, or break into little bits and add!

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