Breizh Poellrezh SF - Douarañ Santel
Breizh Poellrezh SF - Douarañ Santel

Breton Soup


Soak a cup and a half of dried haricot beans overnight, and then add 1 litre of water, one onion and two cloves of garlic. Also add several peeled and chopped potatoes, as well as parsley, thyme and bay leaf to taste (don’t be over-generous with the bay leaf). Bring to the boil and simmer for a nice long time - at least two hours (it helps to keep the pot covered while simmering, but uncovered while bringing to the boil). In another saucepan melt a knob of butter then add a bunch of finely chopped spinach. Once the spinach looks like a nice green purée, add it to the soup (towards the end of cooking). Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Soupe à la Bretonne

Now this soup is "very foreign looking", one my grandmother used to make, never fails to attract comments from those who have never lived in Brittany.

3 large Onions
2 small Carrots
A handful of Sorrel or Spinach
A piece of Butter about the size of an Egg
1 litre of Stock (for convenience use 2 Vegetable stock cubes in 1½ litres of water)
Slices, NO, shavings of stale bread




Peel the vegetables and dice them very small. The green vegetables should be washed and cut into fine strips. Put them into the soup pan with the butter, and let them get well warmed through. Then add the liquid and boil steadily for two hours. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now take the stale bread, even better still, the remains of a baguette and cut the thinnest possible shavings from it. Make sure they are NOT slices, but real shavings, curled and ragged. Put at least six, and more if you like, into each bowl. Pour in the boiling soup, taking care that you give a fair share of vegetables with each serving. Cover the plates, and stand them in a cool oven, for five minutes, so that the bread may soak: then add as much soup, as each plate will hold, and serve.

Cream of shellfish soup with aniseed, Paimpol coco beans and toast with Trappe de Timadeuc cheese

Cream of shellfish soup with aniseed, Paimpol coco beans and toast with Trappe de Timadeuc cheese


1 kg bouchot mussels
500g cockles
200g clams
2 shallots
250ml pouring cream
3 egg yolks
20ml Pastis
1 bunch of chives
1 carrot
2 new onions
150g Paimpol coco beans
2 glasses of dry white wine
4 slices of farmhouse bread
1 Trappe de Timadeuc Cheese

(Red Windsor is a good alternative if Timadeuc is not easily obtained)

Cook the mussels à la marinière, with the shallots and white wine. Cook the cockles and clams in the same cooking water. Filter the cooking water and set aside. Sweat the finely chopped onions and carrot in 50 g of butter, add the beans, and cover with a mix of half water, half shellfish cooking water. Cook on a low heat for about 20 minutes. Mix the cream with the egg yolks and Pastis, and add the coco beans once they are cooked. Turn up the heat without bringing to the boil, add the shelled shellfish and finely chopped chives and keep warm. Toast the bread and place a portion of cheese on each slice. Grill until melted. Serve with the shellfish cream soup.

Oyster and vegetable soup

Serves 4

1 shallot,
2 celery sticks
2 carrots
1 leek
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
1 vegetable stock cube
4 tbsp crème fraîche
1 tsp curry powder
Freshly ground pepper
12 Breton oysters


Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

* Finely chop the celery, carrots, leek, shallot and parsley.
* Heat 1 litre of water with a stock cube in a large pan. Add the vegetables, seasoning and curry powder. Cover and simmer for 18 minutes on a low heat.
* Open the oysters and delicately remove them from their shells.
* Add the crème fraîche to the stock and bring to the boil for about 2 minutes, whisking the stock continuously. Lower the heat and add the oysters. Season to taste and serve hot with large slices of toasted bread.

Soupe à l'Oignon gratinée

Ingredients for 4 people:


500grams Brown Onions
150grams Swiss cheese (Emmental or Gruyère)
75gr Butter
1 litre Chicken Broth ,or broth from pot-au-feu, or 1 bouillon cube
4 slices toasted farmhouse bread
Salt & Pepper


Peel and slice the onions into rounds. Melt the butter in a soup pan and add the onions, stirring well to coat them well with butter. Cook over a low heat for 30 minutes , until they are golden brown.


Add the broth (or a litre of water and a bouillion cube), stir, and bring to simmer for about 15 minutes over a low heat, stirring from time to time.

Pre-heat oven on grill position; When it is hot lightly toast the bread on both side. remove the toasted slices of bread but leave the grill on.

Blend the soup to get the onions well broken up. Fill ovenproof bowls with soup.

Grate the cheese. Top each bowl with a slice of toast and cover the toast with grated cheese. Give each bowl a grind of black pepper and put under the grill for 3-4 minutes, long enough for the cheese to melt and crisp a bit but not burn.

Baratzekari Salda

This is a classic peasant soup from the Béarn, Gascon, and Basque regions of France. Indeed, its very name is controversial--some say it came from the Spanish garbias, for "stew." Others from the Basque garbe meaning "sheaf" or "bunch," since it's essentially a bunch of vegetables. Even so, I prefer my friend Saioa Dunixe’s simple recipe, which captures the robustness and goodness of the dish -- and I have adapted it below. Traditionally it should include a chunk of salt pork, or lard rance--and it should be finished with a chunk of preserved meat, preferably the Béarn confit d'oie, or potted goose (salted then simmered for hours in its own fat). It's not a pretty soup, but it's full of flavours and textures, very satisfying. Serve hot as a meal to 8 people with lots of dense country bread.

• 4 litres water

• 900 grams potatoes, quartered
• 700 grams salted pork (bacon or country ham is acceptable)
• 900 grams cabbage, roughly chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed or crushed
• 2 onions, each studded with 2 cloves
• 2 carrots, peeled and quartered
• 2 turnips, peeled and quartered
• 2 cups fresh haricot beans
• 6 sprigs of parsley, tied with a bay leaf
• 8 crushed peppercorns (or hot chilli peppers)
• ½ teaspoon thyme
• ½ teaspoon marjoram
• 700 grams of confit d’oie (OK, hit me--I tried it with shop-bought potted meat and it wasn't bad)
• Salt to taste (always Gros Sel)

Garnish with sliced bread, either place in a tureen and ladle Baratzekari Salda over it or sauté it in the skimmed fat and place on top then brown in the oven with confit and serve separately. Bring the water, salt pork, and potatoes to a boil in a large soup pot. Add the cabbage and all the remaining ingredients except the confit and the salt. Simmer, partially covered, for 2 hours. Discard the parsley bundle and remove the cloves from the onions. Take out the meat and slice it into serving pieces. (Traditionally this is served on the side, but can be returned to the pot.) Stir in the congit. Salt to taste. Skim off the fat. Serve in a tureen or ladle into soup plates--accompanying with bread as suggested under the recipe garn

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