Now see, this is one of the things I love about this guy. He keeps me on my toes. Just when I think that after one million years of marriage I can predict pretty much anything that he’s going to say, he goes and says the word “vichyssoise.” Meaning not only did I have have to make it, but I’m also going to have to spell it various times throughout this post. I tell you – the things we do for love.
So vichyssoise (which by the way I have now spelled incorrectly TWICE and have had to go back and fix) is basically fancy for cold potato soup. And happily, he had the whole vichyssoise craving on a day when I happened to have another soup on the menu for that night. It was a hot clam chowder. It was 90 degrees that day…so why? I have no idea. My mind works in mysterious ways even to me, but I had the potatoes on hand for the clam chowder so it was an easy detour to the much more sensible cold vichyssoise.
And really, it couldn’t be easier – you simmer some trimmed leeks with your potatoes in a mixture of water and milk until everything is nice and tender. Cool it off a little and then give it a whirl in your blender until everything is nice and smooth. If you have an immersion blender you can blend it right in the pot – one less thing to wash! Now strain it through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and pop it in the fridge. If you make it in the morning it will be perfect by suppertime. (If it’s a little too thick for your taste once it’s chilled, thin it down with a little milk.)
The traditional way to serve this is with some chopped chives, since I can never leave well enough alone, I decided to jazz it up a little by toasting up some garlic bread crumbs until they were nice and crunchy, along with a little chopped pancetta that I also sauteed until it was crispy. I scattered these on top along with the chives and it gave it just the right amount of crunch.
And there you go – cool, smooth and a little bit out of the ordinary. Just like my surprising Southern husband. ♥
- 4 medium leeks, trimmed, rinsed and sliced thinly
- 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peel and sliced thinly
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
- 1 slice bread
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup chopped pancetta (or two slices bacon)
- Put leeks, potatoes, milk and 2 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and stir in the cream.
- Using either a regular blender or an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Set a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour the soup through it, stirring the soup as it goes through the strainer to get out any remaining solids.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate until chilled, a minimum of three hours.
- Pulse bread slice in food processor to make crumbs. Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and breadcrumbs and stir until crumbs are golden and crunchy. Set aside.
- Wipe out skillet and add pancetta or bacon. Stir over medium high heat until crispy and drain on paper towels until slightly cooled.
- Divide soup among bowls. Garnish with bread crumbs, pancetta and chives and serve at once.