Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is Côte d`Azur Cure-all Soup, a classic Southern-French healing dish, a soup with egg yolks and lots of garlic. According to Dorie, the basis for this soup is either water or chicken broth. I chose to make a chicken broth. The secret to good chicken soup is oftentimes fiercely guarded, and everyone has their own version. It has a smell that gives us a hit of nostalgia and makes us feel instantly comforted. But there is more to it than nostalgia, though. Broths made from bones are a good source of amino acids, important for bosting our immune systems.
The second step in this recipe is to toss a whole head of garlic (cut into very thin slices) into your stock pot, then add a bouquet garni (fresh sage, bay leaf and thyme) and the chicken soup and let everything simmer along for a good thirty minutes. Then stir together farm fresh egg yolks (about five or six of them) as well as finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano and gradually whisk the egg mixture into your soup.
Everybody loves a warming bowl of soup to pick you up in winter or early spring and, speaking of nostalgia, this soup definitely reminds me of one of my favorite soups of my childhood – sans the garlic though. As a child, I loved to eat chicken soup with an egg yolk – it would always be served piping hot and with the yolk still intact and I loved stirring the yolk into the soup and enjoying the delicious results.
Instead of adding all the thinly sliced garlic to the simmering stock, though, I decided to fry some of the slices in a mild olive oil and added the Garlic Chips with Sea Salt as the garnish to the finished soup – made the soup look nice and added a welcome bit of crunch.
To make this a delicious as well as a satisfying lunch, I also decided to bake some Ramson-Potato-Buns. The dough is made with baked potatoes, farm fresh, thick buttermilk and fresh yeast. I found the first ramson (also known as wild garlic) this week and every year I use as much of it as reasonably possible in my recipes. This seasonal ingredient gives off an incredibly pungent smell in the wild. Unlike common cultivated garlic, it's the leaves that are eaten rather than the bulbs. The taste is more delicate too, similar to the flavor of chives. My favorite dish to create with those lovely dark green leaves is a Ramson and Spring Herb Salad. But I also love to use ransom in my baking and those rolls harmonized so well with this Côte d`Azur Cure-all Soup
There is definitely something restorative and satisfying about this Côte d`Azur Cure-all Soup. It is like nostalgia in a bowl and magic medicine at the same time and we all enjoyed it.
To see whether the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed this week´s recipe, please go here.
For copyright reasons, we do not publish the recipes from the book. But you can find the recipe for this Côte d`Azur Cure-all Soup on pages 70-71 in Dorie Greenspan´s cookbook "Around my French Table".
Ingredients for the Dough
250 grams potatoes (about 2 medium)
250 grams AP (plain) flour, plus some for the work surface
a pinch of fine sea salt
1 tsp sugar
20 grams fresh yeast (or 2 1/2 tsp dry yeast)*
100 ml buttermilk
*2+1/2 tsp (one package) active dry yeast = 18 gm cake fresh yeast
-Carol Field, "The Italian Baker"
Ingredients for the Ramson Butter Filling
100 grams fresh ramson leaves, washed and dried
80 grams soft, unsalted butter
a pinch of fine sea salt
For the glaze
1 egg (M), free range or organic
a muffin tray for 12 muffins
12 paper liners
1. Wrap two potatoes in baking paper, then in aluminium foil and then bake in a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees Celsius/320 degrees Fahrenheit until tender when pierced with a fork (depending on the size of the potatoes, this can take up to one hour). Peel the potatoes while still hot and using a potato ricer (or simply a fork) mash them.
2. In a bowl, mix together the 250 grams flour, salt and sugar. Add the crumbled yeast (or the dry yeast) and the buttermilk and stir well. Add the mashed potatoes to the flour mixture and using the dough hooks of your stand mixer, mix the dough until it comes together. If the dough is extremely sticky, add a bit of flour. Then cover the dough with saran wrap while preparing the ramson butter.
3. Take the stems off the ramson and chop. Mix together the chopped ramson, butter and salt.
4. Line the muffin tray with the paper liners. Knead the dough on your well-floured work surface and roll out to about 30 x 40 cm (11.8 x 15.7 inches). Using an offset spatula, spread the ramson butter across the dough, leaving a border. Roll the dough up from the long side facing you. Cut into 12 slices. Add the slices to the muffin liners. Cover with saran wrap and let rest for about 25 minutes in a warm spot.
5. Using a fork, mix the egg and using a soft pastry brush, brush the buns with the egg.
6. Bake the buns in a pre-heated oven (220 degrees Celsius/425 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 15 to 18 minutes.
7. Cool for a few minutes on a wire rack and enjoy while still warm.