Potato & Leek Soup
Vichyssoise (vishy-swaz), the creme de la creme of French soups. Rich, creamy potato and leek soup—served chilled.
Prepare: in a soup pot, sauté leeks and onion till soft. Add potatoes, water, broth, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer till potatoes are soft and crumbly. Let cool slightly, then puree in a blender. Cover and chill.
Serve: when ready to serve stir in cream, adjust seasoning and garnish with chives. Serve as a first course, or as a luncheon with a salad and a loaf of crusty French bread.
* You can use light cream or half-and-half instead of heavy cream. It's not quite as rich but it helps to reduce the fat load.
Tips & Glossary
Bouquet Garni: (boo-kay gar-nee) bundle of herbs tied together with string or wrapped in cheese cloth square; usually parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Flavor is released during long cooking.Remove before serving.
Chervil: (sher-vil) related to parsley but has a delicate anise flavor. Long cooking kills flavor, so add at the last minute.
Cornichon (kor-nee-shon) teeny-tiny pickle, served with pates & smoked meats; found in specialty food stores.
Fines Herbes: (feen-airb) mix of finely chopped herbs: parsley, chives, tarragon, & chervil. Not as strong as a bouqet garni. Buy it at most grocery stores.
Fromage: (fra-mahj) Cheese! The French eat more than any nationality, 45 pounds per capita per year; and the country makes more cheeses than any other country, about 400.
Herbes de Provence (airb-duh-pro-vonce): mix of dried herbs, usually thyme, rosemary, marjoram, basil, & bay leaf Can be found at most grocery stores.
Mutarde: (moo-tard), mustard. Most famous:
Nicoise Olive: (nee-swaz- oh-leev) small, purplish-black olive with a mellow, nutty flavor; used primarily in Salade Nicoise. The Picholine variety is a green, medium-sized olive with a light, nutty flavor.
Roux: (roo) paste-like mix of melted butter and flour, into which liquid is gradually added. The basis of every classic French sauce.
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