French Fridays with Dorie – Warm Weather Vegetable Pot Au Feu

Memorial Day weekend was crammed with cooking, eating, and struggling with the weather’s unpredictability.  For the last couple of weeks, it has rained almost every day and mostly in the afternoon, driven by the rising temperatures and the lingering humidity in the atmosphere.  Luckily, we squeezed two rounds of grilling towards the end of the weekend.  Knowing that we would overindulge in a slab of large, meaty ribs on Monday evening, I decided that the perfect lunch to feel nutritionally virtuous for a little while was Dorie Greenspan’s warm weather vegetable pot-au-feu.

The upside of the rain?  My balcony garden is haphazardly lush.  Hello, basil coulis!

According to The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine (a grossly underused reference in my shelf), “the most accomplished pot au feu is composed of a number of textures and flavors”.  Dorie’s version felt fresh with lemon zest pieces and lemongrass combined with the more traditional aromatics.  Between those, and the relatively short cooking time, I get why the title suggests this as a summertime meal.  The thinly sliced potatoes and ruffly poached eggs added substance to the otherwise light soup.  Some of the liberties we took with this flexible recipe included using dry mushrooms and adding them earlier into the process, working with white asparagus, and using a vegetable stock base to make this dish vegetarian friendly (if omitting the egg). The soup, served with a couple of pieces of French bread for dipping, made a satisfying lunch.



And then… the bonne idée that almost wasn’t.

There was enough soup left over on Monday for a ‘side’ portion of warm weather pot au feu.  The work day had been long, the house felt overly warm, and I didn’t feel like boiling water.  I removed an open container of goat cheese crumbles (one of the three I bought for the Torteau de Chevre I never got around baking), and sprinkled a bit on top of my soup.  Some of cheese melted into the broth, cutting through the concentrated vegetable flavors, and adding that desired touch of richness in the otherwise light soup.  And that tang… mmmh!  I had another Dorie fan-girl moment and joyfully tweeted about my discovery.

I broke out into a spazzy little dance when I got the reply, fortunately witnessed only by Gatamiaux.

The warm weather pot au feu was this week’s chosen entry for French Friday’s with Dorie, an online cooking group that works its way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.  For the rest of the gang’s vegetable pot au feu links, click here. Bon weekend!

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Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

35 Responses to “French Fridays with Dorie – Warm Weather Vegetable Pot Au Feu”

  1. Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen
    June 3, 2011 at 1:41 am #

    Great idea using the asparagus and sprinkling goat’s cheese on top…yumm! I also heart your lush herb garden!

  2. Cher
    June 3, 2011 at 1:45 am #

    Ooohh. Goat cheese – sounds great. This soup was such a pleasant surprise!

  3. Liz
    June 3, 2011 at 2:07 am #

    Goat cheese??? Wonderful addition!

  4. mygreatmenu
    June 3, 2011 at 2:28 am #

    Goat cheese, great idea. I’m going to try that next time.

  5. Leanna @ Raptortoe
    June 3, 2011 at 3:03 am #

    This looks delicious!

    June 3, 2011 at 4:10 am #

    I wish I had thought of the goat cheese tip! YUM! It was a great soup overall… we were happy with it.

  7. yummychunklet
    June 3, 2011 at 5:46 am #

    D’oh! I missed the goat cheese addition. It sounds like a delicious tip. Your soup looks so tasty!

  8. Adriana
    June 3, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    @ YC – you didn’t miss any goat cheese suggestions! That was an addition I made inspired something my Mom would do. She didn’t make a lot of soup, but when she did, she would always take out the Parmesan cheese container out for us to sprinkle some on top.

  9. Natalie
    June 3, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    This looks so perfect for right now, It’s so hot here! I am definitely trying this!!

  10. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite
    June 3, 2011 at 10:26 am #

    Yes I saw that exchange and did a little happy dance for you! I think I need to try this with goat cheese next time – because there will be a next time. So, so, good!

  11. Eileen
    June 3, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    Your Mom and I think along the same lines. I wound up tossing some parmesan on this halfway through my bowl, b/c I was having a hard time eating it. Goat cheese would have been even better. What a thrill that Dorie is out there, listening!!

  12. Patty
    June 3, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    Lovely white asparagus, inspired goat cheese idea and how fun to twitter or tweet(?) with Dorie, nice week for you Adriana;-)

  13. tricia s.
    June 3, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    I also vote positively for the goat cheese and am chuckling because I have a bit in my fridge too… I realize it must also be leftover from the tourteau 🙂 Nana and I enjoyed this one, though she actually ate it. I tasted vicariously through my family members 🙂 Lovely pictures and your soup as well as your garden, look divine. Great job !

  14. Betsy
    June 3, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    This was rather virtuous, wasn’t it? I love the look of the white asparagus in your bowl. And your chevre bonne idee sounds parfait! I’ll try that next time, though I just had my leftovers plain and eggless for lunch.

  15. Tiffany
    June 3, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    Looks delicious and the white asparagus is very pretty!

  16. Sarah
    June 3, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    I’m a little jealous of all your rain; we are having a serious drought in south Texas right now. I love the goat cheese idea, and I’m so excited for your exchange with Dorie.

  17. kitchenarian
    June 3, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    You were my inspiration yesterday. Thanks for the encouragement. I got up this morning and made the soup. You were right – it was wonderful! Thanks Adriana, you outdid yourself this week. Great post.

  18. Susan
    June 3, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    Adriana, your Pot au Feu looks beautiful and Goat Cheese sounds like a great addition. I accidentally skipped ahead, so I’m off by a week! LOL!

  19. Jessica of My Baking Heart
    June 3, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    Yum! Don’t you just love ‘Dorie moments’? What a treat! 🙂

  20. Anne
    June 3, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    I have a container of goat cheese crumbles in my fridge! I’m 100% following your suggestion and using them on my leftover Pot au Feu portion for lunch tomorrow. Thanks for the idea!

  21. Elaine
    June 4, 2011 at 12:10 am #

    Your balcony garden is growing like crazy! That was a great idea to add the goat cheese. Your soup looks so pretty and delicious.

  22. Yuri
    June 4, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    Love your mini-garden 🙂 must have been exciting having Dorie tweeting you back 😀

  23. Margaret
    June 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    So very glad you stopped by for a visit so I could find your blog. Beautifully written. GREAT idea about the cheese. Glad Dorie thought so too. Soup was sooo good.

  24. Margaret
    June 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    So very glad you stopped by for a visit so I could find your blog. Beautifully written. GREAT idea about the cheese. Glad Dorie thought so too. Soup was sooo good.

  25. Candy
    June 4, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    How cool that Dorie responded to your tweet! Lovely photo and I am jealous of your lovely herb garden!

  26. Spicie Foodie
    June 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    I love your addition of goat cheese to the pot au feu, sounds scrumptious! Your dish looks really good, loving all the veggies. (You asked about my YBR event, here is the information page : . The signup for June will be posted in a couple more weeks.)

  27. Anne
    June 6, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    Thank you for your emails!  Sorry for the delay in responding – your comments were not on my blog directly, so it took a bit of time to check my email account.  Your blog looks gorgeous, love the photos and your POV.  I will plan to participate in your YBR event in  June – thanks for the info!

  28. Giulietta@Alterkitchen
    June 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    A bunch of awards for you! :)

  29. elisabeth@foodandthriftfinds
    June 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    Adriana-I love how you made this simple French soup so elegant, and delicious…I do know firsthand that it was delicious, because my daughter Lora made them, as well, and we anjoyed it also, with a nice slice of her homemade crunchy bread.Love your sweet little herb section in you balcony…also admire your photos, and the presentation of the yummy soup:DDD

  30. Kathy
    June 6, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    Your Pot au feu looks so delicious! I have been away so I missed a couple recipes. Now it’s time for catch up. Beautiful photos!

  31. KarenP
    June 7, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    Beautiful! I enjoyed this for lunch the next day too, but did not have the inspiration to add goat cheese on top! I would have done a happy-dance too. 🙂

  32. Kathleen
    June 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    Is that a fig tree between the pots of herbs? I have one growing in a large container outside. It’s a black fig and the second year it produced many figs. My friend purchased a lemon grass herb somewhere and I wished I had known that when I made the pot de feu as I used a dried version from Penzey’s Spices. The goat cheese you added sounds like it added a nice bite.

  33. Adriana
    June 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    It is a Turkish fig tree!  I can't wait until it starts producing fruit.  

  34. August 16, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    Did you use white asparagus in yours? that looks good! the egg won me over!

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