Cultivateur is the French term for farmer. The key to this soup is to sweat the vegetables to extract the flavor. This soup is perfect for this time of year because it is light and refreshing but still makes you feel warm inside. Feel free to use whatever vegetables that you have in your refrigerator and mix and match.
2-3 tablespoons Butter
½ cup carrots, small dice
½ cup leeks, small dice
½ cup celery, small dice
½ cup bacon, small dice
½ cup yellow squash, small dice
½ cup Zucchini, small dice
½ cup Potato, small dice
Broccoli Florets / Green Beans / Asparagus (optional)
Start by cleaning your leeks. Wash them. Slice off the greens that surround the white part of the leek, removing the darkest and toughest outermost leaves. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise (all but 2 inches of the greens), wash them again, and then slice them fine. Then soak in water to get rid of the dirt and sand. Dry the leeks and add them to a large pot with the butter. Sweat over low heat. Add salt. Add the diced bacon with the leeks. Cover to preserve the steam. Add carrot, celery, little olive oil, little salt, cover, and continue sweating. Add stock to cover the vegetables. You want the finished product to be about 50% vegetables and 50% broth. Bring back to a simmer, covered for about 15-20 minutes. Add potatoes and continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add asparagus and broccoli. Add zucchini and squash at the very end. Adjust level of stock and check for seasoning. Simmer long enough to cook the last addition of vegetables. Serve with croutons.
Photo by Emily Clack