Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Carrot Vichyssoise

On my recommendation in 1974 Bill got Polly a copy of A Treasury of Great Recipes - before I had even met her - and this began many years of cooking and eating together in Atlanta, Mobile, Washington, and New York.

This is elegant and easy. The original recipe calls for chicken or vegetable stock. I always use chicken, but vegetable stock would make it a vegetarian (not vegan) dish.

It's so rich that it would be appropriate to serve it in demitasse cups as a tiny starter.

Carrot Vichyssoise
Adapted from A Treasury of Great Recipes by Mary and Vincent Price

Serves 4 to 6

2 cups peeled and diced baking potatoes
1-1/4 cup sliced carrots
1 leek white part only, sliced*
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
Shredded raw carrot or minced fresh chives for garnish

Put the potatoes, carrots, leek, and chicken broth into a large saucepan. Heat until the contents of the pan come just to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer until the vegetables are tender - about 25 minutes . Remove the pan from the heat, and let cool for 15 minutes.

Puree the contents of the saucepan in a food processor or blender. If you use a blender, do this step in two batches, half each time, so the soup doesn’t erupt out of the blender. I have never used a hand-held stick blender for this myself, but if it purees perfectly, it could work here.

Refrigerate in a covered bowl until cold. You can hold the soup at this point for one to two days.

Just before serving, stir in the heavy cream, and add salt to taste. Serve icy cold with a topping of shredded raw carrot or minced fresh chives.

*You need to thoroughly clean the leek. First, wash the outside of the leek. Then slice off the green part. Cut the white part of the leek in half all the way down to the root, but don't cut all the way through the root. Spread the leek apart, and clean both halves under running water to remove any accumulated dirt. Once washed, slice off the root end, and cut the two halves of the leek across into half moons.

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