In most French country households not so long ago, a pot of soup would always be simmering, either over the fire or on the back burner, and it was common to start every meal with a big filling and inexpensive bowl.
Often it would be a soupe de légumes or vegetable soup. The store-bought kinds are all blended, and the number of vegetables they contain, anywhere from five to twelve, will be indicated on the box or jar.
An unusual one, soupe blanche, is made in autumn with parsnips, pattypan or custard squash (pâtissons), endives, artichoke bottoms, crème fraîche and ground coriander, all blended together.
Image by Christine McIntosh