Saturday, May 28, 2011


Vichyssoise is kind of a fancy name for potato-leek soup, but it also implies a creaminess that you don't get with every potato soup.  I usually make this with russet potatoes, but I had some baby red ones on hand and used them instead.  Smoothest, creamiest vichyssoise I've ever had.  Pain in the rear to peel because of the indented eyes, but worth the trouble.

Traditionally, this soup is served chilled.  However, it tastes just as good piping hot.  My only caveat is to watch the salt.  You taste salt more when a food is hot than when it's cold.  If you season this to have it cold, then heat it up, it may be too salty.  I'd rather have it slightly under-seasoned and put a shaker on the table.

I'm not sure why all the recipes I've found lately for vegetable soups use chicken broth.  I used it for this, and it did give it body.  For vegetarians, I'm going to assume a veggie broth will work.

I broke with the rule about garnishes being from one of the ingredients because Papa Smurf wanted green onions.  My mom always put them on her vichyssoise.  You should use very thin slices of leek as a more appropriate garnish.

This is loosely based on the Bible's recipe.

1 medium leek
1 Tb butter
*1 lb red potatoes
1 15 oz can chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 C half-and-half
salt and white pepper to taste

1.  Cut leek in half lengthwise and rinse thoroughly.  Slice very thinly crosswise only the white and light-green parts to make 2/3 C.  Slice a bit more and reserve for garnish.

2.  Peel red potatoes and remove eyes.  Slice 1/4" thick, and leave slices in a bowl of cold water until ready to use.

3.  Melt butter in a 2-qt saucepan.  Add leeks and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add potatoes and broth.  Heat to boiling, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and allow to cook 30 minutes.

4.  Purée mixture in a blender until completely smooth.  Strain into serving container.  Add half-and-half, taste, and add salt and white pepper as needed.  Chill until ready to serve.

Makes 4 12-oz appetizer servings

Difficulty rating  :)

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