This man is one of the most amazing French professionals and humanitarians whose work many would admire! Antoine-Augustin Parmentier was a French army pharmacist during a war with Prussia that landed him in a Prussian prison. He was fed only potatoes during his prison stay which was considered hog feed in France. He was released from prison and was so healthy that he became strong advocate for the white potato, sweet potatoes, and Jerusalem artichoke. During the many years left in his life, he pioneered many areas of nutritional chemistry with the hope of improving many peoples lives and health. One of his interesting tactics in trying to educate the public on the nutritional value of potatoes is he hosted dinner parties for famous people such as Benjamin Franklin. He served potato dishes and decorated the tables with vases of potato blossoms.
Some of his well known dishes are
- Hache (Hachis) Parmentier (Pictured above. I covered half of this lamb,gravy, and vegetables with the mashed potatoes so that you could see that the general structure of what the French know as Hachis Parmentier is also one of American’s favorites- shepherds pie.)
- Potage Parmentier (or Velouté Parmentier),
- Pommes Parmentier, and
- Parmentier Cream of Potato soup.
The printed recipes we’ve seen for the Parmentier potato soups most often purée the potatoes and other ingredients before serving.
-Our kitchen practice honoring the differences between Potage Parmentier and Vichyssoise:
- We make Vichyssoise on warm days with the traditional potato, leek, and broth base. Our broth base is always an alternative “bean milk”, making either Lima bean, soy, or white beans in our SoyaJoy G4 appliance. We also arrive at a very creamy silky texture by adding ghee.
- We make Potage Parmentier in the winter when our leeks are not always available. During this time we use the white part of green onions and save the green tops separately to make Herbes Salees seasoning. The potatoes are sometimes just white buy also mixed with our freshly dug sweet potatoes. The “cream” base again is from our ever expanding repertoire of alternative milks and of course the ghee. We usually leave the potatoes in small chunks.
– See also this article: https://center-of-the-plate.com/2016/10/27/the-power-of-the-potato/
More Articles Distinguishing Potage Parmentier from Vichyssoise:
-According to Julia Childs:
“The basic difference is that the Vichyssoise from (Mastering the Art Vol 1) uses chicken stock and no flour, while the Potage Parmentier (From Julia Child’s Kitchen) uses water (or water and milk) plus butter and flour as the soup base.”
-“Potage parmentier (named after Auguste-Antoine Parmentier, the man who promoted the idea of using potatoes as a food in Europe) is the moniker used for the hot version, often mistakenly called Vichyssoise (named after the spa town of Vichy), a name that should only be used for the cold version of the soup. Serving temperature aside, there is one other glaring difference between the two soups: vichyssoise is always a smooth and creamy soup, whereas parmentier can either be a rustic, chunky broth (with or without milk), or a rich, smooth and silky soup.”