Potage Crécy avec croutons à la croque-monsieur

That is, carrot soup with ham and cheese croutons.
Simple French food but good for the soul. The perfect thing to answer the recent weather.

Ingredients
2 table spoon butter (plus some for the croutons but that is optional)
2 small onions
1/4 cup basmati rice
4 cups carrots (two generous handful)
2 boxes chicken stock
1/2 tea spoon thyme
1 french baguette
Ham (about 10-12 slices)
Emmental cheese (to taste)
Salt and pepper
ingredients

***

1. Melt the butter in a large soup pot.
Only insisting on this because this is one of the few recipes where I wouldn’t swap it for olive oil. Really go for butter.
butter

2. Roughly chop the onions and toss them into the butter. Allow to sweat over medium-low heat for a few minutes. You want to avoid coloring them.
sweat-onions

3. In that time, clean (peel if your carrots require it) the carrots and slice into rounds about 1/2″ thick.
carrots1

4. Rinse the basmati rice until the water runs clear. Add to the pot with the onions and stir to coat.
rice

5. Add the carrots to the pot and stir to combine.
carrots2

6. Add the chicken stock (about 1 1/2 box). Save the remaining 1/2 box chicken stock for later.
Add the thyme, season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes.
broth

7. When it’s about done, slice the bread.
Line your baguette slices on a cookie sheet line with aluminum (or parchment paper)

Mine was a day old and a bit dried so I brushed it with melted butter, but that is optional.
slice1

8. Add ham (1/2 slice per crouton) on each piece of bread.
slice2

9.Grate the emmental and add on top of the ham.
slice3

10. The soup should be ready by now, so take it off the heat. The rice should be falling apart and the carrots very soft.
Put the croutons in the oven on broil while you blend down the soup.
soup

11. By the time the soup is blended the cheese should be melted and just, just, starting to get some color. Take the croutons out of the oven.
slices4

12. Adjust seasoning on the soup. If it’s too thick add more chicken stock.
You can add cream, sour cream or crème fraîche at this point if you want, but I usually don’t bother.

Serve warm with the hot melty cheese croque-monsieur.
The soup should be filling but light and bright and the cheese and ham savory and satisfying.
serve

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