I carry no phone
An aspiring Luddite
In a wired world.
Jeff Berry is an early adopter of the Internet and the Web, a late adopter of Twitter, and declines to adopt Facebook. With the death of Google+, he's experimenting with federated platforms. He admins a medievalist Mastodon instance, and can found on the PlusPora diaspora pod. He hates cell-phones.
So, whilst browsing through a manuscript at York Minster library, I found this exciting passage on a bit of parchment used as a pastedown for the back cover. I knew I had to make it immediately!
For to make potage de Ebor. Tak as many oyngnons as þu wil & leche þem fine. Put þem in a possnet with fayre grece oþer oyl. Whan þei are soft, tak good broth and put it þerto. Tak roots of beets oþer carrots oþer erþeapfel and put þem thereto. Let hem have .ii. or .iii. walmes. Tak .ii. or .iii. gobbets of þi roots and laye þem in a dishe & pour the sewe over. Cast þereto cheese well y-grated and serve it forth.
OK. I made all that up. Really what happened was this: we had decided that we might have a nice gratin for dinner, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a shame to use the delicious, creamy new potatoes this way. So, instead I decided to do a riff on French onion soup. Instead of making croutons, I'd just use small new potatoes. It worked out a treat.
That really is pretty much the recipe, though ...
When they've got some colour and are getting a bit soft, add your stock. If you don't have stock, you could use water, but you'll need to add some spices and seasoning to make up for the lack. As an aside, if you are the sort of person who cooks beans (as I am), I encourage you to keep the bean juice and use it for applications like this. I did some red beans with a smoked ham-shank the other day, and the juice was rich, smoky, and salty, and, somewhat diluted, it worked brilliantly in this soup.
Bring that up to a simmer, then add your new potatoes. If they are small, as ours were, then twenty minutes simmering in the soup should be enough to make them fork-, or even spoon-, tender. Grate some cheese; we used a fairly flavorful but inexpensive cheddar. Put the soup in bowls, making sure each person gets some of the potatoes, put the cheese on top, and serve it forth.