Sunday, January 6, 2013

Soup Series: Vichyssoise and Other Hot-to-Colds

Sometimes it's easy to forget, trudging through the snow, that others are trudging through the sand, instead! Then you need a soup that can go easily from hot to cold, and back again.
     One of the best: Vichyssoise. ("vee-shee-so-ause") There's some argument who came up with this basic potato-leek soup. The Americans say the chef of the Algonquin in New York invented it -- but there have been an awful lot of leek soups around in Europe for centuries.
      At any rate, it's delicious....and deliciously simple to make.

Photo from Simply Recipes; go here for their version.

one bunch (2-3) leeks, sliced thinly (whites and part of the greens)
4-5 potatoes, peeled and chopped
10-12 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade -- this really is one soup that shows the difference. But if you're not in the mood, commercial broth is ok. Or use 12 cups of water and 4 chicken bouillon cubes.)
1-2 cups cream (again, the real stuff makes a difference. Sometimes I'll substitute sour cream.)

Cook potatoes and leeks slowly in chicken broth until done, 1-2 hours. (They can also be cooked up to 4-6 hours on low in a crockpot, with pleasant results.) Whiz in the blender in batches, until soup is smooth. Stir cream in gradually -- or dish soup in bowls, and top each with a swirl of cream. Serves 4-6; can be served hot, or chilled. Savor every smooth, creamy spoonful.

Here are seven more soups that are tasty, whether they're served hot or cold.

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