french white soup

Marie Antoinette’s Tears White Soup

As far as a chicken soup goes, the traditional French White Soup has been around since the 1600s. Even with it’s rich and interesting history, I really haven’t seen any online recipes for it. I specifically searched for “traditional french white soup” in a variety of ways, but it seems that any trace of it has disappeared from the digital world, so I turned to the french cookbooks, which is where finally found it!

I cooked it recently, and I remember the giddy anticipation and impatience with which I stirred the pot. “I wonder why it’s not popular anymore! It was served to the French royalty at one point – and who doesn’t want to feel royal.” It smelled divine! The bouquet garni, the bone broth… I must admit, I think I was in love with the idea of creating something that people ate 400 years ago, and just maybe I romanticized this soup a little. Don’t get me wrong, this is a healthy, filling and definitely repeatable recipe with a lot of potential for personality (maybe I would add shallots the next time)!

Being pregnant with my second child, I also see this as a perfect and complete chicken soup meal, both in terms of time commitment, cost and nutrition. Additionally, if you’re introducing your toddler to more adult foods, this is a really good start! This humble chicken soup (despite its aristocratic roots) can also be the workhorse dinner or lunch option that doesn’t require a lot of energy, and will satisfy in any season with a thoughtful garnish. My one caveat is that it’s simplicity can be a little underwhelming – so, if you’re entertaining, this is probably not the soup that will wow your guests, though it’s very photogenic.

You will need a food processor and a French or Dutch oven.

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs, boneless/skinless
  • 1 cup white rice, uncooked
  • 4 cups bone broth (chicken broth/stock may be substituted)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 Bouquet Garni (3 sprigs of fresh thyme, 3 sprigs of fresh parsley, 3 bay leaves twine-wrapped in leek leaf)
  • 3 oz almonds (whole or sliced)
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • Pistachios, shelled (garnish)
  • Pomegranate seeds (garnish)
  • White pepper (to taste)

Directions

  1. Heat up water, bone broth, and salt to a boil in your French or Dutch oven (if unavailable, substitute any deep, large pot) over medium heat.
  2. Add all chicken thighs and rice and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 15-20 min until chicken is cooked completely and rice is tender
  4. Lift chicken out of pot and drain separately
  5. When cool enough to handle, (1) throw 4 thighs in a food processor for 20 sec, (2) chop the other 2 thighs and reserve (make sure to pull of any bits that might have an unpleasant texture).
  6. Ladle half the contents of the Dutch oven into the food processor with the chicken, add almonds and process for a minute or until very smooth (I’m dreaming about a Pacojet right now, I wish I had one!)
  7. Pour the contents of the processor back into your pot with the rest of the soup.
  8. Add reserved chicken and almond milk, adjust salt and add pepper to taste
  9. Add almond milk or water if the consistency is too thick (it shouldn’t me pasty, more like a thin porridge)
  10. Time to have some fun with your chicken soup! Sprinkle some pomegranate seeds in any way you like; crush some pistachios and sprinkle in the middle or in a line. Looks great, mama! For a cool bubble effect, drizzle some olive oil.

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