Grandma Jacobs really knew how to stretch a dollar. She also believed that no proper dinner ever began without soup. This is a very inexpensive and easy Old World recipe she brought with her from Warsaw, and later taught to my mother. Whenever either of them made it, Dad always referred to it as “Soupe du Jour-du Jour,” (and he loved it!) hence my name for this recipe. —ChefJune
6 generous servings
A large pot of cold water (a 5-quart dutch oven)
large Idaho (russet) potatoes
ribs celery, coarsely chopped
carrots, coarsely chopped
small onion, chopped
medium-large onion, peeled, stuck with 2 cloves and poked through with a knife
Cube the potatoes and add them to the pot of water along with all the other vegetables. Bring the mixture to the boil, and allow to simmer merrily for 30 minutes.
In a medium sized skillet, melt the butter and add the flour to make a roux. Stir constantly to remove any potential lumps and make a smooth paste. Continue stirring constantly until the roux turns VERY dark brown. BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN THE ROUX or you have to start all over again.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the roux, stirring constantly. When the foaming subsides, taste, and correct the seasoning. Remove the bay leaf and the whole onion before serving.
Serve with (Jewish style) rye bread and good butter, and a tossed green salad.
Teacher’s Tip: I've been known to gussy this soup up by adding a pound of bay scallops or Maine shrimp about 2 minutes before serving; or slice some garlicky sausage into the soup and allow to heat through – or BOTH. Then, of course, this soup won't be "dirt cheap!"