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Vichyssoise

Vichyssoise

Vichyssoise – a rich, creamy potato and leek soup – is a delicious switch from the traditional potato soup served hot. This is one soup you won’t mind getting cold.

There are disputes about the true birthplace of vichyssoise. Some claim the roots of this luscious soup belong to France, some say the United States. But many credit a French chef from the Ritz-Carlton in New York who is said to have created and served this luscious soup well chilled in the early 1900s. Regardless of the origin this classic it is worthy of adding to your recipe file.

Start with savory ingredients – sweet onion and leeks – that are sautéed in butter until tender. Add Yukon gold potatoes along with chicken stock and simmer before being pureeing into a velvety smooth base. Finish with milk and cream, chill until cold and you have one delectable soup!

Leeks are a must to capture the delicate flavor of this soup. Related to onions – leeks are technically members of the amaryllis family. The dark green leaves are tough but can be used when you’re making a stock. But for this soup only toss in the white and the very light green part of the leek. You want the vichyssoise to be almost white in color, which is also the reason white pepper is used.

For the potatoes, one of my favorites is the Yukon gold. Its slightly nutty, buttery flavor and smooth texture lends the right touch.

The potatoes, onions and leeks can be pureed in a blender but I’ve never been a fan of transferring hot liquids back and forth from a steaming stockpot to a blender and back again. My preference is an immersion blender – it works beautifully. I’ve had several through the years and my favorite is from All-Clad. Powerful, with an extended wand, it’s perfect for large or small batches. As with any immersion blender, just make sure to keep the blade submerged or you’ll spray your kitchen!

Versatile, this soup can be served as an appetizer, a side or your main entrée. And yes, you can also dish it up hot but if you’ve never tried it chilled you owe it to yourself to try it– at least once!

Vichyssoise

4 tablespoons butter

4 leeks*, about 3 pounds, mainly the white part – chopped

1 medium onion, chopped – about 1-1/2 cups

4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced thin

4 to 6 cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

½ teaspoon white pepper, or to taste

1 cup milk

1 cup cream

Fresh chives, chopped for garnish

Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the chopped leeks and onions.

Cook until both are tender and translucent, but not browned – about 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the sliced potatoes along with 4 cups of the stock – add the additional 2 cups only if needed to almost cover the potatoes.

Cover the stockpot and cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

If you added 6 cups of stock, strain off 2 cups before pureeing. You can reserve this stock and add it later if you want a thinner consistency for the soup. Remove the soup from the heat and using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until it is very, very smooth.

Season the soup with the kosher salt and white pepper then stir in the milk and cream.

Refrigerate the soup until it is well chilled. Top with fresh chives for serving.

*Cleaning leeks is an important step. As the leaves push up through the ground they capture a lot of dirt along the way. To clean, cut the dark green leaves down to the light green part of the leek.

Then cut an “X” about 3” to 4” from the leaves down towards the bulb.

Place the leeks cut side down in a large measuring cup or bowl filled with cold water. Let them soak for about 20 minutes to let the leeks open up a bit. Rinse the leeks under cold running water to make sure all the dirt is removed.

Vichyssoise, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

August 17, 2018
: 6 to 8

Vichyssoise - a rich, creamy potato and leek soup - is a delicious switch from the classic potato soup served hot. This is one soup you won’t mind getting cold.

By:

Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 leeks*, about 3 pounds, mainly the white part - chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped – about 1-1/2 cups
  • 4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
  • 4 to 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper, or to taste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • Fresh chives, chopped for garnish
Directions
  • Step 1 Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the chopped leeks and onions and cook until both are tender and translucent, but not browned – about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Step 2 Add the sliced potatoes along with 4 cups of the stock – add the additional 2 cups if needed to almost cover the potatoes. Cover the stockpot and cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Step 3 If you added 6 cups of stock, strain off 2 cups. You can reserve this stock and add it later if you want a thinner consistency for the soup.
  • Step 4 Remove the soup from the heat and using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until it is very, very smooth.
  • Step 5 Season the soup with the kosher salt and white pepper then stir in the milk and cream.
  • Step 6 Refrigerate the soup until it is well chilled.
  • Step 7 Top with fresh chives for serving.
  • Step 8 *Cleaning leeks is an important step. As the leaves push up through the ground they capture a lot of dirt along the way. To clean, cut the dark green leaves down to the light green part of the leek. Then cut an “X” about 3” to 4” from the leaves down towards the bulb. Place the leeks cut side down in a large measuring cup or bowl filled with cold water. Let them soak for about 20 minutes to let the leeks open up a bit. Rinse the leeks under cold running water to make sure all the dirt is removed.


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