Friday, April 23, 2010

Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Vichyssoise (Cold Leek and Potato Soup)

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I have never had vichyssoise, even though I threw the name around a lot as a kid. I loved the way the name rolled off the tongue. It sounded so foreign, so high-society. But it also seemed much too fancy for my family to eat. Little did I know that it's just leeks and potatoes, and not really all that complicated.  Definitely follow Julia's advice on the salting - the soup needs a little extra to hold up when it's cold.

Vichyssoise (Cold Leek and Potato Soup)
From Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck

3 cups peeled, sliced potatoes
3 cups sliced white of leek
1½ quarts white stock, chicken stock, or canned chicken broth
Salt to taste
½ to 1 cup whipping cream
White pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons minced chives

Either simmer the vegetables, stock or broth, and salt together, partially covered, for 40 to 50 minutes until the vegetables are tender; or cook under 15 pounds pressure for 5 minutes, release pressure, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Puree the soup either in the electric blender, or through a food mill and then through a fine sieve.

Stir in the cream. Season to taste, oversalting very slightly as salt loses its savor in a cold dish. Chill.

Serve in chilled soup cups and decorate with minced chives.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

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