Surprising combination of ingredients for a smooth, velvety soup full of flavor that originates from Meaux region, East of Paris.
The story of French Crecy soup
Crécy soup is named after the location of origin of its main ingredient, a variety of carrot, the Crécy carrot also called red carrot of Meaux.
This ancient variety that we can barely find anymore comes from Crécy-la-Chapelle near Meaux, which is located at the East of Paris, not very far away from French capital.
The fun story behind the Crécy carrot variety is that the grand-son of Palais-Royal’s famous caterer, who was very interested in military cuisine, made culinary experiences. He invented a way to dehydrate ingredients and made meat and vegetable (including Crécy carrot) bars for soldiers during the War of 1870.
This invention helped a lot during wars to have a more or less balanced meals as soldiers just had to add boiling water to the dry vegetables bars.
How to make this carrot soup
Be that as it may, I didn’t find out yet why this soup was made with rice but I’ll keep searching and will update this article as soon as possible.
It’s actually not very common to have rice in a soup in French cuisine. More often, we use potatoes. Sometimes lentils or beans.
Use good quality carrot, ideally organic. You can also serve this as a side removing a bit of cooking water before blending. Great to serve with meat or fish.
The main steps of this recipe are:
- First, heat butter in a pan. Sauté carrots and onions. Carrot’s sugar will caramelize a bit and give an excellent taste to the recipe.
- Add water or broth and cook gently
- Then add rice and finish cooking
- Mix before serving
Dress with the topping of your choice : simply a dollop of cream as on those photos, seeds, croutons… For a nice twist, why not testing one of my favorite topping that is perfect for any squash or pumpkin soup. It must be perfect to for a carrot soup: make croutons from gingerbread using my family honey and spices gingerbread, the French version of gingerbread.
This recipe can be adapted with less broth as a side. It makes a great purée. Note that it is also the perfect dish to serve when you have stomach pain such as diarea. Carrots and rice are what is recommended in such situation. You get the two together in a delicious preparation!
Carrot and rice soup called Crécy from East of Paris
- 600 gr carrot
- 100 gr rice
- 1 onion
- 1 large knob butter or 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 liter water or eventually vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp sugar optional
- cream or milk
- Peel and dice carrots and onion, in small cubes.
- Melt butter in a saucepan. Heat water in a pan or kettle.
- Sauté onion for about 5 min, then add carrots and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add hot water, combine, then add rice.
- Leave to simmer for 20 minutes until the carrots and rice are completely cooked, eventually cook for more time if carrots are still firm.
- Mix to get a smooth soup, possibly adding a more water for a more liquid texture.