Great Side Dishes

For the last three months we’ve been doing our best to give you some ideas on what to grill up to take advantage of the warm Summer weather, assuming you’ve been dining outside. So we wanted to move away from the main dishes and start focusing on some great side dishes you can serve with all of that meat and fish you’ve been stepping up your game with all season. We start off with an easy to make French vegetable soup that would make Julia Child proud and goes just as well with chicken or fish as it does to open a steak meal.

This is a French vegetable soup recipe that although it doesn’t take long to prepare, works better when you have a little time to let it sit before preparing so it’s perfect for those weekends when you have some time to enjoy the cooking process. So crack open a bottle of wine while someone does the dicing then while it simmers move to a comfortable area to continue the conversation or move on to preparing the main dish and as always when you speak of us speak well.

French Vegetable Soup



  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large waxy potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only, well rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 4 to 5 medium sized carrots peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and cut into large chunks
  • 1-2 small garlic cloves, smashed but left whole
  • 1 bouquet garni (made with 2 dried bay leaves, a few sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley and thyme tied together in cheesecloth purse with a piece of kitchen twine)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • fresh spring water to cover the vegetables
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large heavy stockpot, add all the chopped vegetables, the garlic, bouquet garni, olive-oil and salt and cover with at least twice as much water as there are vegetables.
  2. Bring to a boil and simmer, half covered, until the vegetables are very tender, and the broth has become slightly opaque about 1 to 1 ½ hours (the longer the soup simmers the more flavorful the broth.)
  3. Remove the bouquet garni and discard. Pepper to taste.
  4. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with a little extra olive oil if desired.
  5. The soup will keep well, covered, in the refrigerator and is even better the next day.


Gluten Free, Grain Free, Vegetarian, Vegan

Notes:The soup can also be puréed in a blender or with a hand-held immersion blender.

Variations: Add or substitute any other winter vegetables such as parsnips, turnips or celery root to the soup as you please, always remembering to cover the vegetables with twice as much water.

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