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Classic Vichyssoise or Leek and Potato Soup

Classic Vichyssoise or Leek and Potato Soup

Classic Vichyssoise – Leek and Potato soup

 

  • Author: Marjorie Beausoleil
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: soup
  • Cuisine: French

 

Vichyssoise is a thick soup made of boiled and puréed leeks, onions, potatoes, and cream. It is traditionally served cold during the hot summer nights right after leek harvest, around the end of July, but it can also be served hot as a nourishing and comforting meal.

We enjoy both here on our little farm. Cold Vichyssoise in the summer and hot Leek and Potato Potage in the Fall and Winter! So simple and yet, true to the classic French cuisine, so full of flavor.

Here, the recipe is an adaptation of the all-time favorite "The Way to Cook" from Julia Child. I love this book dearly and have cherished it since receiving it from my grandmother, many, many years ago! 

This classic French soup makes the most of a simple and yet under appreciated vegetable: the leek. Leeks are ubiquitous in French cuisine, found in many dishes and in most soups. They grow very well in the old country, some even wild in the vineyards of the south country where people go around and harvest them, then sell them to the market! 

I love everything about leeks. They grow well and easily and I have never seen a pest touch them! All they require is a long season and plenty of nitrogen. Here in New England, I can even leave them outside under a simple row cover or cold frame and they stay good and edible all winter! No need to clutter my already over-flowing root cellar! Another great thing about leek? They are edible at any stage, unlike onions which need to form a bulb to be worth your time and garden space. I even sow leeks late in the season and harvest them at the smaller, greener stage when they make a fine flavoring. Something I haven't seen done a lot in gardens, but that is certainly worth it!

I wrote the recipe after harvesting my London Leeks at the end of July. We also have an incredible bumper crop of potatoes this year, following our Year of the Potato experiment (see this blog post for a detailed step-by-step instruction on how we produced 300lbs of potatoes!).

Leeks are a truly under appreciated vegetable crop that I wish I saw more people grow. Not only are they nutritious, but they have an incomparable, delicate flavor that can turn a simple dish into a great gourmet meal.

 

Broad London Leek freshly harvest from Ethos Seed Company
Freshly harvest leek, with strong green tops and root system

INGREDIENTS:

For about 2 ½ quarts or 6-8 portions

4 cups sliced leeks (white parts and a few pieces of the tender greens) (sliced)

4 cups diced and peeled potatoes

6 to 7 cups of water

1 ½ to 2 tsp salt – or to taste

2 tbsp. butter, salted

½ cup sour cream, heavy cream or crème fraiche (or more, to taste!)

 

Instructions

Melt the butter in a large cast iron pot, making sure to use low to medium heat and not to cook the butter. Add leeks, potatoes and water.

Bring to a boil and cook, partially covered, for 20 to 30 minutes until the ingredients are cooked through and the flavors blended.

Add salt to taste.

Remove from heat and add cream, sour cream or crème fraiche.

Serve hot or cold.

Broad London Leek growing between tomato plants - Ethos Seed Company
Leeks are easy to grow and untouched by pests. Here a few plants grow between tomatoes in my garden.

 

Did you try it? Do you love leeks? Share this recipe and leave a comment below!

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