We are fast coming upon the season for cold soups. Vichyssoise is very popular. It is a cold, pureed and strained version of potato and leek soup, with special handling. Note the following:
· Add the half and half at the last minute.
· If some of the soup is to be set-aside for tomorrow or to be frozen, do not add half and half to that portion.
· Cold soups should have a thinner consistency than hot soups.
· Cold soups require more seasoning than hot soups because cold dulls the sense of taste. It follows, that seasoning should be adjusted only after the soup has been chilled.
· Always serve cold soups as cold as possible. Chill the bowls!
A cold leek and potato soup
Yield: 1 quart, about 4 servings. (there is a significant
loss of volume in Step 4)
See Abbreviations, if needed
1 onion, diced
5 leeks, white part only, diced
2 T butter
1 garlic clove, pureed
1 sachet of Herbes de Provence or of bay and thyme leaves, pepper corns and parsley stems
1.5 qt chicken stock or canned broth
5 large red potatoes, peeled and diced
1 C half and half
2 T fresh chopped parsley
1. Sweat diced onion and leeks in butter to well done, but not
2. Add garlic, sachet of herbs and chicken stock. BTB and then simmer
3. Add diced potatoes and simmer until the potatoes are done, about 45 minutes
4. Puree and strain the hot soup in a food mill or a China cap (chinois), not a food processor
5. Chill the soup
6. At the last minute, add half and half to thin the soup to desired consistency
7. Adjust seasoning
8. Serve cold with chopped parsley
Note: In Step 4, the soup can be pureed while in the food mill or China cap with a stick blender to yield a little more soup, but the tough fibers of leeks should be strained out. A food mill and China cap purees and strains.