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Vichyssoise with Chive Blossoms

Vichyssoise with Chive Blossoms

I have a great affinity for just about anything that you can eat from a bowl. During the Winter we tend to live on hearty hot soups and stews finding comfort and warmth in the bottom of our pottery bowls. As the days grow longer and Spring unfurls into Summer, soups are very much still in our repertoire, but they are aways cool, light, colorful, and refreshing. Unlike their winter counterparts that often simmer or braise for hours, these fresher soups are simple to prepare and require very little active time in a hot kitchen. I have a collection of them that I rely on during those warmer months, but this one is probably one of my favorites.

Vichyssoise with Chive Blossoms

~Recipe from the book Lost Recipes, by Marion Cunningham~

“This soup from Vichy, France, is usually served cold, but it also makes a hearty meal served hot with toasted buttered rye bread and sliced chilled tomatoes on the side. To make the best chilled Vichyssoise, you should plan ahead and refrigerate the soup, soup bowls, and spoons, overnight.” ~Marion Cunningham

4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) Unsalted Butter
4 Leeks (White part only), cleaned and thinly sliced
1 Medium Onion, thinly sliced (about 2/3 cup)
2 Teaspoons Salt
1 1/2 Pounds Russet Potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
4 Cups Chicken Broth
4 Cups Milk
White Pepper
Minced Fresh Chives for garnish ( I like to use Chive Blossoms from my garden instead.)

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan or dutch oven. Add the leeks and onion, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Stir in the potatoes and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Now scoop up the soup, one ladle at a time, and puree it in a blender or food processor. Return the soup to the pan, add the milk, and a little white pepper, and bring to a boil. Boil for about 1 minute. Cool and refrigerate.
When ready to serve, taste the soup and correct the seasoning if necessary. Garnish with the chives.

Note: To clean a leek, cut off the stringy root end, and then cut the leek in half lengthwise. Hold it upside down with the root end closest to you, and run cold water to wash away the sand and dirt.

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