Vichyssoise is an American soup that’s both French and British in origin. Modeled after potato and leek soups, it offers a cold delight to anyone sipping the rich potage. Perfect in summertime. Serve in shallow bowls and garnish with chives.
- 3 Cups sliced peeled baking potatoes
- 3 Cups sliced cleaned leeks, white and pale green parts only
- 6 Cups chicken stock, homemade, or low-sodium commercial
- 1/2 Cup cream (to 1 Cup)
- salt, to taste
- freshly-ground white pepper, to taste
- 2 Tablespoons minced chives
- Combine the potatoes, leeks and stock in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer, partly covered, until the vegetables are very soft, about 45 minutes.
- Cool slightly, then puree in a blender, food processor or food mill.
- Remove the soup to a covered container and chill at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
- Before serving, add as much cream as desired and season with salt and pepper.
- Chilled Watercress Soup: Decrease leeks to 2 cups; add leaves from 1 bunch washed and drained watercress 5 minutes before cooking time is finished. Omit chives and garnish with watercress sprigs.
- Chilled Spinach Soup: Proceed as above, substituting leaves from 1 bunch spinach for the watercress and adding 1 chopped garlic clove to the potato/leek mixture. Add a few grindings of nutmeg.
- Chilled Pepper Soup: Decrease leeks to 2 cups; add 1/2 to 1 cup peeled, roasted red bell peppers (prepared at home or from a jar) before pureeing the soup. Garnish with chopped chives or chopped chervil.
- Chilled Asparagus Soup: Decrease leeks to 2 cups; add 1 minced garlic clove to the potato/leek mixture, and add 1 to 1 1/2 cups blanched and cut-up asparagus spears along with 3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk to the mixture 5 minutes before cooking time is up. For a low-calorie version, skip the cream enrichment or use only a tablespoon or two -- the nonfat dry milk makes this creamy without adding fat.
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