Sunday, May 5, 2013

Spud Soup

Here's the deal: I thought I was making Vichyssoise, that elegant, cold leek-and-potato soup. Nothing is better for a summer lunch on a hot day - and we've been having nearly a week of unusually warm temperatures.  It's cool, it's velvety, and it's creamy. But, when I dragged out my ancient copy of Julia Child's opus to double check, I found that what I had made was really Potage Parmentier, not Vichyssoise.

The difference is that PP is made with water and is served hot, and V is made with chicken broth and is served cold.

Hmmm. Although a bit deflated, I decided to stir in the cream anyway and see how it tasted. I spun it up in a blender, stirred in some half-and-half, and sprinkled the top with some minced cilantro for a little Cinco de Mayo herbal twist.

It was fantastic!  We inhaled our portions and looked around for more!  As summer comes on, think about making this wowza soup for your lunch or dinner.  The ticket is to start early in the morning, when it's still cool in your kitchen, for chopping and simmering the ingredients, then let it cool, shove it in the fridge, and spin it later in your blender, adding the cream at the last minute.  Julia uses whipping cream in her recipe but we were happy with half-and-half, and I think you will be, too. It still went down like cool, white velvet and tasted deliciously of earth and alliums.

Cold Spud Soup

I'm calling my version Cold Spud Soup to distinguish it from the richer Vichyssoise or the warm Potage Parmentier. A rose by any other name....

1 lb (3-4 cups) peeled potatoes, sliced or diced
1 lb (3-4 cups) thinly sliced leeks (I used half leek and half red young onions)
8 cups water
1 Tablespoon salt (and you may want more at the table - we don't like much salt)

1-2 Tablespoons half and half cream per portion. 
Minced cilantro to gussy up the top (Cilantro tastes like soap to some people; if you hate cilantro, use parsley or chives for the garnish).

Add vegetables and salt to water in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer, partly covered, until veggies are tender, about 30-40 minutes.  Set aside and let it cool a bit before blending in a blender or using a stick blender. You want very smooth soup. Refrigerate for a couple of hours - you want it to be really cold when you serve it.

Or, once cooled, stick it in the fridge and blend it later.

Once smoothly blended, add cream and stir, pour into soup bowls and garnish with cilantro.


Blogger Greg said...

Mmmmm....striking photo!

Sunday, May 05, 2013  
Blogger nancy namaste said...

I think you should rechristen that soup "Cold Spuds a la Zoomie." You deserve more than a bit of creative license in both the title and the recipe. I didn't even have the energy to make cold soup last week but I had already stocked up on deli chicken, lots of vegs and fruit.

Sunday, May 05, 2013  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Just beautiful. Love the shadows in your photo.
I've been making this with vegetable stock, so I can eat it either hot or cold. It's called Leek and Potato Soup.

Sunday, May 05, 2013  
Blogger Hungry Dog said...

Lovely, elegant, and simple!

Sunday, May 05, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, that's a real compliment coming from you!

Nancy, you were smart since I know you hate hot weather!

Cookiecrumb, gee, thanks. Veggie stock is a good idea, too, but I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty it was with nothing but water as a base.

Hungry Dog, thanks! I tasted that way, too.

Monday, May 06, 2013  
Blogger Diane said...

beautiful photo. sounds so perfect for a warm day.

Monday, May 06, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Diane, my mother always served Vichyssoise in summer time, so it's a bit of a tradition with us.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013  

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