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Classic Vichyssoise

This delicious creamy soup is made of onions, puréed leeks, potatoes, chicken broth and cream.   It is typically served chilled as a first course during the warm months, but can also be served hot.   Despite the French name, Julia Child claims that this is “an American invention”, as opposed to a traditional French dish. French or not, the dish is attributed to Frenchman Louis Diat. He re-invented the soup in 1917, in New York City while working at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Diat was born in Vichy, France, where hot potato and leek recipe was a traditional dish. So, for the opening of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel’s rooftop garden, he decided to serve that same soup of his childhood, only cold and with cream. He called it Crème Vichyssoise Glacée.

You will need:

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

4 medium Yukon Gold  potatoes, peeled and diced

6 large leeks, thoroughly rinsed and sliced (white and light green parts only)

1 quart chicken bone broth

Salt and pepper to taste

A pinch of nutmeg

1/2 cup heavy cream

Pinch of Parsley

In a large pot, or dutch oven, heat the olive oil and the butter, over medium high heat. Sauté the onion until translucent (about 2 minutes). Add the leeks and sauté until soft (about 4-5 min).

Add the potatoes and sauté with the onions and leeks for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Turn off heat and let potato’s cool down.  I let mine sit a good hour while I piddled around the house.

Add to a large food processor, then add cream, nutmeg and parsley. Purée until smooth.  Place in food containers and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

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