Hot Soup for the final days of Les Saints de Glace

“Stay in bed tomorrow. Have breakfast in bed. And don’t go out for any reason.” That was Lydie’s advice during our visit today in Caen, Normandy. You can get from Paris to Caen by train in app. 2 ½ hours. (Train station Gare St. Lazare)
Photo by Chris Card Fuller ©2007 Gare St. Lazare. Watch your pockets and handbags at this station!!

Many visitors come to Caen to see the Abbaye aux Hommes and the Abbaye aux Dames –which were constructed during William the Conquerer’s era. A much more recent addition is the Caen Memorial, considered by many to be one of the best World War II commemorative museums in Normandy. Our reason for coming to Caen was somewhat different. I was going to Caen to find a dentist. During a return trip the USA this winter, my American dentist suggested it was time to think about removing a 35 year old filling that was now cracked – and undoubtedly harboring a cavity. Not only that, but he’d be happy to pull out the other four ancient fillings and replace the four fillings with lovely brand new fillings (which might last – if I’m lucky for fifteen years). This could be done for a mere $800 per filling.

Today, I met my new dentist. She is quite young. Here, there are no dental assistants, a minimum of paperwork – no long forms to fill out – just name, address, phone number, and are you allergic to anything? She decides to take an x-ray. Lead bib for the neck and chest? Not necessary. Bottom line? No cavities. No need to take out the old fillings. Just keep a watchful eye on things. See you in six months.

Cost of dentist’s visit with x-rays? 15 Euros.




I am so please not to have to pull out four fillings that I thought I’d share this recipe for leafy green soup – that you too, can prepare for a cozy night indoors – whether you are in Paris, Caen, or someplace on the other side of the pond – where it happens to be cold and rainy:

Leafy Green Soup and ‘almost vegetarian’.

3 Leeks
Minced garlic cloves 3-4
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp cracked peppercorns
6 cups vegetable broth
3 medium potatoes peeled and cubed.
4 cups Swiss chard or Bok Choy

1 cup torn sorrel arugula or parsley
Garlic croutons
100 grams or 1 Cup of diced bacon bits.

Sautee garlic, bacon bits, and chopped white tops of leeks. Add tarragon and peppercorns. Add stock and bring to boil.
Place in slow cooker or turn to low simmer. Add peeled and cubed potatoes. If using slow cooker, cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours. Otherwise simmer until potatoes are tender. Then add green vegetables and simmer until green vegetables are tender.

Remove from heat. Place soup in blender. Add cream to taste.
If you are in Paris and don’t have cooking facilities, tonight’s a good night for onion soup at your local café or brasserie.