Chilled Summer Soup Vichyssoise

There are few things that speak of late spring and summer as a cold soup.  This has to be one of my favourites.  With its origins the kitchens of the Ritz, at the hands of a Lyonnaise chef who dreamed of the soups of his childhood in France, Vichyssoise should be in every cook’s repertoire.  I leave on the potato skins for their nutritional value.  It is best when served off-cold, not quite refrigerator cold, but starting to come up to room temperature.

  • 1 lb of starchy potatoes, about 6 medium, diced
  • 4 large leeks, whites and greens, cleaned of grit, sliced small
  • 2 spring onions, whites and greens, minced
  • 1 cup of double cream
  • 2 litres of chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • A few tablespoons of freshly chopped chives
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, about half a nut
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare your ingredients.  Clean and chop the potatoes and leeks.  Mince the green onions.

Saute the onions over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot for about 5 minutes, taking care not to caramelize.  Toss in the leeks and continue to cook, stirring every now and again, for about 5 more minutes, until sweated.  Add in the potatoes, stir every now and again, and continue to cook another few minutes.  Pour in the stock, raise the heat, and bring to a light simmer.  Adjust the heat to keep it on a light simmer.

Cook for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.  Using an immersion blender, mix until smooth.  Set aside in a bowl and let cool.  Cover and refrigerate, preferably overnight.

Just before serving, remove from the fridge, stir in the cream, and season to taste with salt, freshly grated white pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg.  Stir in half the chives and use the remaining half to sprinkle over each soup plate. Enjoy.

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