Melt the butter in a large pot over low heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the onion; cook until the onion begins to turn translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock, carrots, potatoes, herbes de Provence, thyme and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to the boil; reduce heat again to low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
Pour the soup into a blender, filling it no more than halfway. Securing the lid of the blender with a folded towel, start to blend using a few quick pulses before allowing to blend continually; puree in batches until smooth. Divide into eight soup bowls; garnish each portion with about 1/2 tablespoon double cream and a sprig of parsley.
Me being lazy... i scrubbed the veggies, no pealing! Then used my food processor to slice, took very little time to prepare. REALLY tasty, have frozen a portion (without cream obviously!) Also i threw in a couple of crushed garlic cloves....... yummy! - 23 Apr 2010