Friday, 2 March 2018

Foodie Friday – Crème Du Barry

Do you know what Crème Du Barry is?  I didn't either.  It is a cauliflower soup.

The Comtesse Du Barry (Countess) was a French woman who came to a very sticky end courtesy of the guillotine in 1793.  Her crime appeared to have been being the Mistress of the King (Louis XV).

Her end was not a quiet one – she shrieked and pleaded for more time right up to the end – and who can blame her?

The Countess was not born an aristocrat – she was born to an unwed seamstress.  She was very beautiful and ended up being a highly sought after courtesan (some things never change).  She became the official mistress of the King – which required her to have aristocratic pedigree – which was achieved by a marriage to the Comte du Barry.  Not surprisingly she was not a favourite with the Queen, Marie Antoinette

So to the cuisine – many dishes were named after her.  All have a creamy white sauce and most feature cauliflower.  Why?  One theory is that the cauliflower resembled her powdered white wig.

I originally, and somewhat ghoulishly, thought it might be to do with her having lost her head to the guillotine – but this was kiboshed by finding out that the dishes were named after her during her lifetime.

The recipes  named after her include crème Du Barry, eggs Du Barry, Cocktail du Barry, Cauliflower a la Du Barry

Here is the recipe for Crème Du Barry (thanks Food Network) – I haven't cooked this myself so can't vouch for it.


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, well-washed and chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 medium all-purpose potato, cubed
  • 6 cups white chicken Stock
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup 1 percent low-fat milk (optional)
  • 4 leaves fresh parsley


Combine the oil and butter in a large saucepan. Warm over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and stirring frequently, allow them cook slowly for 10 minutes. Do not brown. 
Stir in the cauliflower, potatoes, and stock. Season with the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. 
Transfer to a blender or a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until smooth. Transfer to a clean saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If the soup is too thick, thin with the milk. 
Pour an equal portion into each of 4 warm bowls. Lay a parsley leaf in the center.

1 comment:

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