vichyssoise

by isaac black

I made vichyssoise tonight. I’ve never had it, but I’ve been on a leeks and fennel kick, so I gave it a shot, adapting this recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/anthony-bourdains-les-halles-vichyssoise-136057

I substituted vegetable broth for the chicken stock, and substituted one cup of cashew cream for cream because I didn’t want it to be so heavy (to make cashew cream, soak cashews for an hour or so, blend. No straining necessary!). It was pretty delicious, and I bet it would adapt easily to a fully vegan recipe, substituting oil for butter and leaving out the heavy cream entirely. Here’s the recipe as I made it:

4 tablespoons butter
8 leeks, white part only, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 medium potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream

1 cup cashew cream

1 pinch nutmeg
salt and fresh pepper
Directions:

1
In a large, heavy bottom pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Once butter is melted, add the leeks and sweat for 5 minutes, making sure they do not take on any color.
2
Add potatoes and cook for a minute or two, stirring a few times.
3
Stir in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
4
Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook on low heat, gently simmering for 35 minutes, or until the leeks and potatoes are very soft. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
5
Slowly, and in SMALL batches, puree the soup at a high speed in the blender. Do this bit by bit, never filling the blender too high. Make sure the benders lid is on, and lean on the top when you turn on. If not the burn you will get is awful, and a most frequent accident in even professional kitchens.
6
Return soup to the cooking pot and whisk in cream and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Return to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook 5 minutes. If you want to thin soup out, add more broth, if needed.
7
Transfer soup to the mixing bowl and chill over the ice bath, stirring occasionally. When soup is at Room temperature, and only at room temperature, cover in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator to cool.

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