Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Potato Leek Soup - Vichyssoise

This elegant soup was originally created by the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York City in 1917 - although there has always been some dispute as to the origins: American or French...either way, it has stood the test of time and remains a favorite of many (myself included). It has few ingredients, but the fresher they are, the better. I used freshly dug potatoes from the potato field behind my house, leeks from my farmer's market, homemade chicken broth and half and half rather than heavy cream. It fills the kitchen with a wonderful aroma as it simmers, and it can be served warm or cold. Pretty nifty. ~Patti
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium leeks (all of the white part, a bit of the green) chopped
2 large potatoes, or about 2-1/2 cups, chopped small
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup half and half
salt & pepper to taste
green onion or chives for garnish
a dollop of sour cream (optional)

Serves: 6

This year's haul. Our yard backs up to a commercial potato farm here in the MatSu Valley in Palmer, Alaska. The farmer graciously allows us to 'gleen' the potatoes after he has harvested our neighborhood is pretty lucky!

Leeks love to trap dirt, so be sure to rinse them especially well after chopping.

Melt the butter in a large pot. Sauté leeks until soft, about 6-7 minutes. Add diced potatoes and the chicken broth. Let simmer about 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft.

Add half and half, stir, and warm through. 

Transfer soup to kitchen aid or blender (you can blend in batches if necessary). Blend until smooth. Garnish with minced chives or green onions and a dollop of sour cream if you like. Like most soups, it is almost better the next day!

Potato plants in the field near our home. The color of the blossom indicate the skin color. These are white or yellow potatoes...

...and these with pink blossoms are red potatoes!

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