Vichyssoise – Chilled Potato and Leek Soup
Most consider vichyssoise to be a classic cold French soup although some believe it was invented in New York City at the Ritz Carlton. Regardless, this potato and leek soup remains a true classic with simply wonderful flavor.
1 1/2 pounds potatoes (waxy variety), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 medium leeks (about 3 pounds), washed very well and sliced very thin, use white part only
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
4 cups chicken broth, water, or milk
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon of finely chopped chives, for garnish
Makes 6 servings.
To a large pot over medium-low heat add the butter. When melted, add the leeks and gently sweat (you don’t want them to brown) until they are soft (about 5 minutes). Add the potatoes and chicken broth, water, or milk.
Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer until potatoes are soft and easily pierced with a fork (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
Add the mixture to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Do this in small batches (no more than half full) as the hot soup creates pressure and can spray out.
Return the soup to the pot and whisk in the cream. Stirring all the time, bring the soup to a boil and immediately turn down to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes and remove from heat. If the soup is too thick, add a little water or broth.
Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper. Cool quickly to room temperature, cover with plastic, then refrigerate until chilled (preferably overnight).
Just before serving, sprinkle chives over the top.