Today’s recipe is for one of my favorite soups. Basically, it is a Vichyssoise, but, while that particular creation is usually (although not invariably) served cold, I like mine piping hot with crusty brown bread and butter on the side…
- 5 cups good Chicken Stock;
- 1 cup chopped Leek (white and light green parts only);
- ½ cup chopped Celery (try and include some leaves);
- 2 cloves of Garlic, chopped;
- 4 tbsp. Butter;
- 1 pinch Salt (plus more to taste);
- 1 tsp. Green Peppercorns (Black is okay, too)
- 2 – 3 cups diced Potato;
- ¼ cup Cream.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over moderate heat, add the leek, celery and garlic along with the pinch of salt and sauté until softened.
Add 2 cups of the stock and the peppercorns and simmer, covered, for about an hour until the vegetables are really soft.
Puree the soup using a food processor or hand blender and then pass the result through a wire strainer, discarding any solids. You can omit this step if you like but it does make for a smoother finished product. You should, however, pick out the peppercorns if not doing so.
Add the remaining stock and the potatoes and continue to simmer for about 45 minutes or so until the potatoes are very soft and falling apart.
Puree again and then add the cream. Simmer very gently for a further 15 or 20 minutes to take off the raw taste of the cream. Make sure you do not boil after the cream has been added and, when done, taste and adjust for salt. You can serve at this point, or you can chill (eating it cold, if you like) or chill and later re-heat for service (again being sure not to boil). The latter case is highly recommended as it improves the flavor during the process.