POTAGE PRINTANIER/FRENCH POTATO SOUP

This is a light, flavorful potato soup in the French style. It takes less than an hour to make and your guests will think it took much longer. Within the context of the whole menu this soup is nourishing for everyone. A steaming bowl of Potage Printanier, a tossed green salad, and a slice of lightly buttered bread makes a good light supper for Kapha types. Tastes in this recipe are sweet, salty, and a little astringent.

Serves 8

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee

1 green pepper, chopped 1/2 quarts hot water

2 potatoes, pared, quartered, and sliced thin

2 carrots, sliced

1/4 cup white rice

6 stalks asparagus, cut in 1/2-inch pieces 1/2 pound spinach, washed and chopped

1 cup light cream Ground pepper to taste

Melt the butter or ghee in a large pot over moderate heat. Add the green pepper and saute until it is soft. Add the water, the potatoes, and the sliced carrots. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and the asparagus. Cover and simmer over very low heat for 25 minutes. Then stir in the spinach. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Finally, just before serving, add the light cream and just heat through, but do not boil. Sprinkle with ground pepper and serve immediately.

for weight watchers and kapha: Decrease the recipe to 1 potato, 1/2 cup cream mixed with 1/2 cup water or 1 cup skim milk, and 1 tablespoon butter or ghee.

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