Vichyssoise, which is a cream-based potato and leek soup, is one of my favorites. It’s really a simple soup and there’s a culinary debate as to whether the soup is an American or a French creation. It is served chilled, usually garnished with chopped chives.
The vichyssoise I created has a combination of Yukon gold potatoes, leeks, cauliflower, and turnips. The result is what I can only describe as an amazing, silky soup that makes your mouth happy. I add a lot of white pepper to it to give it an extra bite – and a topping of frizzled leeks and fresh chives which adds texture and another layer of onion flavor. I serve this warm – but it can be served chilled as well.
This also makes a great vegetarian soup – just swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth. Water even works, too.
Winter White Vichyssoise
- 4 leeks, cleaned and white and light green parts thinly sliced ( buy five leeks – one is for the topping)
- 3-4 small turnips, peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic; pressed
- 1 10-ounce package cauliflower florets (Eat Smart brand is good), trimmed if needed
- 2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper where noted
- Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat; add the butter and melt. Add the leeks and turnips and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Season with kosher salt. Add the cauliflower and garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and chicken broth and cook over medium-low heat for 18 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
- Transfer the mixture, in batches, to a blender and puree. Add to a medium saucepan.
- Add 1/2 cup heavy cream and the white pepper; stir to combine. Season with kosher salt. Serve warm or chilled.
Garnish as desired with fresh chopped chives and/or Frizzled Leeks (recipe follows)
Serves: 4 to 6
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil – heat in a saute pan over medium-high heat
1 leek, light green and white parts only. Slice the leek in half cross-wise, then in half, then julienne the leek portions so you have little strips of the leek. Add to the pan and saute about 5-6 minutes, just making sure the leeks don’t burn. Remove from the pan and let drain on paper towels and season with kosher salt. Frizzled Leeks will keep for a few days in a covered container.