From: The Thorough Good Cook

Soups: 17. Potato or Parmentier Soup

I have given an alternative "fancy" title to this excellent pottage in remembrance of the philanthropist who was the first to introduce the potato into French cookery. Parmentier was a military apothecary, who, late in the last century, had learnt to believe in the dietetic value of the potato while serving with the French armies in Germany. At the outset he had to encounter the bitterest opposition both from the French Academy of Sciences and the French clergy. Who first declared the tuber to be poisonous; the latter denounced it as a, "Protestant" vegetable. Parmentier, however, succeeded in obtaining the support of Benjamin Franklin and of Lavoisier; but his triumph was completed when he induced Marie Antoinette to accept, and wear in her bosom, a bouquet of potato flowers. "La Liberte- et les Patatas" = "Liberty and Potatoes ", was a popular cry in Paris in the early days of the French Revolution; and the strip of ornamental garden of the Palace of the Tuileries was planted with seed potatoes.

Slice ten large Potatoes (kidneys are the best), blanch them; stew them in stock with two leeks and a head of celery tied up, and the crumb of a Frenh roll; when they break under the pressure of the finger, take out the bunch of herbs, and run the potatoes through a tammy; mix with a sufficient quantity of stock, clarify the whole, add a pinch of sugar and a little nutmeg. When serving, just after boiling point, mix in a pint of milk - nursery milk if you can get it and if you can afford it - a third of a pint of double cream and a pat of fresh butter. Pour the soup into a tureen with some blanched chervil; fried crusts as usual, to make it more toothsome. This is a cheap soup without the cream, and eminently relishable. You may also make a clear Parmentier soup by using; finely shredded potatoes mingled with shredded onions in the broth, and leaving out the milk and cream.

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