Vichyssoise…

I’ve been on a leek kick lately. Prior to making this dish, I can’t even remember eating a leek…ever!  Something besieged me at the produce stand when I saw them.  Looking up leek recipes, I came across Vichyssoise, a light yet creamy chilled soup. I remember reading about it in Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential.  Now was my chance to enjoy the dish that made him pursue a lifelong career in food,

Leeks have a very milk onion-like flavor, not as bitter as green onions/scallions. For this very reason I’ve been sauteing them in olive oil at least twice a week for a vegetable side dish for dinner.

Butter browning…a beautiful sight. Browning releases a nutty flavor that makes everything better. Watch closely thought, because it could be just seconds before it burns and becomes rancid. As soon as it’s brown, add the leeks.

The soup after initial puree with an immersion blender.

Some fresh snow peas from the garden. Sweet and crunchy, my favorite snack when wandering outside.

Garnished with parsley and ready to go. This soup has a mild creamy taste, but it’s not as thick as a bisque. It’s very refreshing and should be served just under room temperature, but can be cold if you like cold soups.

Vichyssoise

4 T butter
5 cups leeks, sliced thinly (only use white and pale green parts)
1 medium sweet onion, diced finely
2 lb yukon gold potatoes, chopped fine
6 cups chicken stock
1 T sea salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
Parsley or chives for garnish

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat butter on medium high until melted. Watch closely for it to brown, it will occur quickly. Add in the leeks and onions and cook for about 5 minutes, reducing the heat to medium meanwhile. Cook until onions are translucent.

Add the potatoes, salt, and stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, for 45 minutes until potatoes are fully cooked. They should be soft enough to squish with your hands, but not mushy. Remove from heat.

Using an immersion blender or counter-top blender in batches, puree soup until no chunks remain. You can press soup through a sieve for an even finer soup, similar to what you’d find in a restaurant.

Allow to cool to about 100 degrees before adding in the two creams. Allow to chill completely in the fridge or just let it sit as dinner approaches. Serve just below room temperature and garnish with herbs.

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