French Recipe: Cold Leek and Potato Soup (Vichyssoise)
Serve this flavourful soup with a dollop of crème fraîche or soured cream and sprinkle with a few snipped fresh chives — or, on very special occasions, garnish with a small spoonful of caviar. #Variation# To make a low-fat soup, use low-fat fromage frais instead of crème fraîche or soured cream. Alternatively, leave out the cream altogether and thin the soup with a little skimmed milk.
- 1lb (450 g) potatoes (about 3 large), peeled and cubed
- 2½ pints/6cups (1.5 litres) chicken stock
- 350 g/12 oz/4 medium leeks, trimmed
- 150 ml-¼ pint 2⁄3 cup crème fraîche or soured cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 45 ml/3 tbsp snipped fresh chives, to garnish
- Put the potatoes and stock in a saucepan or flameproof casserole and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Make a slit along the length of each leek and rinse well under cold running water. Slice thinly.
- When the potatoes are barely tender, stir in the leeks. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 10—15 minutes until the vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally. If the soup appears too thick, thin it down with a little more stock or water.
- Purée the soup in a blender or food processor, in batches if necessary. If you would prefer a very smooth soup, pass it through a food mill or press through a coarse sieve. Stir in most of the cream, cool and then chill. To serve, ladle into chilled bowls and garnish with a swirl of cream and snipped chives.