Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's Vichyssoise, Sir. It's supposed to be cold.. or not?

When I was a kid I used to spend a lot of time at my Grandma Crowley's house. I always looked forward to the summer because her lawn would become riddled with onion grass. One of my favorite things to do was to pluck the little onions, which I quite vividly remember always grew around the gazebo and behind the hydrangeas. I was like a pig with truffles when it came to onion grass.

I was caught, on more than one occasion, with the stem hanging out of my mouth -- which was probably not the best idea. Man, I loved that onion grass. I remember my grandma telling me that I could make Onion Soup... I couldn't think of anything that could possibly be better than onion soup. So, in the summer, I'd sit there with my sand-castle bucket filled with luke-warm water stirring onion grass. I didn't really get why she wouldn't let me use warmer water.

Thank God for adulthood. I still think about sitting in the sun behind the hydrangeas, picking onion grass, every time I cut open a leek.

I like to keep it in the family in this recipe, the onion family. Potato Leek Soup is one of my favorites, especially when the weather gets colder. In the warmer months, I eat it cold and call it Vichyssoise which is equally (if not more) fantastic. Traditionally, Vichyssoise is served cold... I like it hot, too. I think its just a question of semantics. If it's hot, it's potato leek. Cold = Vichyssoise. Either way, its taste is heartwarming.

Potato Leek [Vichyssoise] Soup
3 Leeks, chopped
1 Shallot, minced
5-6 Cloves of Roasted Garlic
2 tblsp Butter
2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
2 Bay Leaves
1/3 cup half and half
Black Pepper

1) In a medium sauce pan melt the butter over low heat, add the shallots and one bay leaf. Saute until the shallots are soft and sweet.

2) Add the chopped leeks to the pot and cook until they are soft, about 10 minutes, remove the bay leaf.

3) Add roasted garlic, potatoes, and stock. Turn heat to high to bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add the second bay leaf and keep the lid on the pot.

4) As the soup cooks down and thickens, add liquid to keep it the right consistency, alternating broth and water. Cook until the potatoes are soft.

*Something to keep in mind is that potatoes absorb salt, so you'll definitely need a generous amount. Just make sure you are tasting as you go.

5) With an immersion blender, puree the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste, let cook for 10 more minutes.

6) Add half and half after the flavors have settled. Serve hot or cold!

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