Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Vichyssoise















I’ve decided August is soup month here on An Eatin’ Man, so I’m going to feature a couple of summer-wonderful soups for your cooking pleasure.  To start things off, here’s one of my favorite summer time soups, Vichyssoise. 

This French-sounding soup is in fact an American invention, first appearing on the menu of the Ritz-Carlton in the early Twentieth Century.  But it was inspired by the potato and leek soups that Chef Louis Diat enjoyed as a child in France, so there is some connection.  The addition of cream helps chill the soup after it is cooked, creating a refreshing cold soup for summer consumption. 



Vichyssoise

4 Tablespoons Butter
2 Cups Chopped/Diced Leeks, White and Pale Green Parts Only
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
2 Lbs Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes, Peeled and Chopped
8-10 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Teaspoons Salt (or to taste)
2 Teaspoons Fine-Ground White Pepper
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Cup Sour Cream
Chopped Fresh Chives for Garnish

Wash your leeks thoroughly, then slice off and discard the end piece with the small roots.  Then slice and chop the white and pale green portions of the leeks (or leek, if you find one as big as I have here).  



Chop the onion as well.  Melt butter in a large pot and sauté the onion and leeks until they begin to turn translucent but do not brown them. 


Meanwhile, peel and chop your potatoes. 


Add the chicken stock 



and then the chopped potatoes.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through and the leeks/onions are tender.  At this point, puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor, or, if you have one, use one of these nifty stick blenders to puree the soup right in the pot. 



Once pureed, add salt and pepper and taste.  Adjust as necessary.  Next, stir in the heavy cream and sour cream.  



Taste and make any final adjustments as necessary. 

Now, at this point, you have a decision to make.  This soup is traditionally served cold, so you will need to chill it in the fridge or a water bath until it is cold and refreshing.  Or, you can be a freak like me and serve it hot, which is also quite delicious.  I usually serve it hot right after I’ve cooked it, then cold as a leftover the next night or two.  Best of both worlds, right?



Until next time,

Soup’s on!


Chris

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