Vichyssoise

It’s finally summer back where I come from. It’s summer all year long here in South Florida but I was waiting to share this cold soup recipe until everyone finally warmed up. This is another one of those waiting for pay day meals as Josie Wolcott in Take Me Home calls them. So of course, it is made from potatoes. A country club luncheon item from the 1950’s. When I was young, my mother would take my sisters and me Back to School shopping in Providence and we’d have lunch at the Shepard’s Tea Room. A fancy little place for ladies who lunched. We always ordered the chicken noodle soup but I’m guessing they also had vichyssoise on the menu.

3 tblsp. unsalted butter

4 large leeks (white part only) well rinsed and thinly sliced

1/2 a large onion-I use Vidalia

4 medium size potatoes, peeled and chopped into one inch pieces

3 cups chicken stock, homemade or I like Kitchen Basics

1/2 a lemon

1 1/2 cups milk (I use 1%)

2 1/4 cups heavy cream or half and half

salt and pepper

chopped chives and bacon for garnish

1) Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and onions and saute slowly until golden, about 15 minutes.

2) Stir in the potatoes. Squeeze the lemon over the potatoes. Add the stock and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Let cool slightly.

3) Process the soup in batches in a blender or food processor.

4) Return soup to the pot and stir in the milk and the cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat until just simmering. Let cool, then pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight if you planned ahead. (But seriously, who has time to plan ahead?)

5) Sprinkle with chives and/or bacon for garnish.

This can also be served warm or at room temperature but the classic vichyssoise is a cold soup. You can play with the milk to cream ratios. More milk makes for a lighter, less creamy but still very tasty soup. I couldn’t find chives so I used scallions.

It’s great to take for lunch or on a picnic. Thank you again to the ladies of The Silver Palate. This was adapted from their Good Times Cookbook, a well worn favorite of mine that is falling apart after all these years but is still my go to cookbook.

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From Take Me Home:

“We’re headed to the North Fork of Long Island where we’re opening a gourmet pizza place,” Andy said. She noticed the plural we. We’re opening a pizza place. We are a couple. She felt a hot flash coming on, but not really a hot flash, just a lunatic, dopey, warm feeling, like a high school girl in love. Her new boyfriend standing up to the boy who jilted her. She felt her blush spread across her cheeks and down her neck. She was mad at herself for being an idiot. Did one ever outgrow these inane feelings? How could a fifty-three-year old woman be so frivolous and ludicrous?

 

She turned around, her order all set. “Are you making your famous seafood chowder?” Paul asked, looking in her basket, a hint of envy in his voice. “Yes. Adrienne’s having a party later this afternoon.” “I can’t wait to try it. Josie’s going to make soups at the restaurant. Josephine’s Soup of the Day,” Andy said, sounding proud and proprietary. “Yes, Josie does make amazing soups. I particularly love her vegetable beef barley. How come I wasn’t invited to the party?” Paul asked. “What?” Josie sputtered. “Why would you be invited to the party?” She couldn’t get out of Dave’s fast enough. Were they cranking the heat, or was she having a stroke?

 

And if you too are from Rhode Island and would like to get nostalgic, check this out:

 

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2 thoughts on “Vichyssoise

  1. Very cool little ditty. Do you remember the Shepard’s Clock?
    I’m not really one for cold soups but I really liked your potato, carrot and cheese soup.

    Like

  2. Yes I remember the Shepard’s Clock. It is still there but Shepard’s is gone. it was an old fashioned department store. The building may be part of Johnson & Wales now. Not sure, they bought a lot of the old buildings and preserved them as part of the campus.

    Like

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