April 10, 2013

Soup with a French Accent

I am not a disciplined cook and so soups are just the thing for someone who isn't so good with precision. And this soup, a hot version of Vichyssoise, has a lot going for it. It's fancy enough to serve to guests and easy enough to make any time. It is vegan (unless you sprinkle bacon on top!) and gluten-free, but will appeal to all palates and is a good choice for a get-together periled by the Venn diagram of dietary restrictions. This soup is also a good choice to make with the youngest members of your household, but more about that later.

Hot Vichyssoise
Leeks, potatoes, and fennel, that is pretty much all that is required.
Ingredients are easy but there are a few tricks.
  • 4-5 stalks of leeks - you want to trim the dark green parts and only use white and lightest green. If you've never cooked with leeks are are filthy and if you don't want a dose of grit in your soup so a good soak is a must. 
  • 2-3 potatoes - a little goes a long way! Red potatoes are better, they are less starchy. We went rustic and did not peel the potatoes and by that I mean couldn't be bothered!
  • 1 bulb of fennel - the whole thing goes in, fronds and all. 
  • Vegetable stock (or chicken stock will do the job too)
  • Nutmeg, sea salt, freshly ground pepper.

Leek fennel potato soup rustic
Leeks are vastly underrated!
The cooking part is easy, saute chopped up vegetables in a little bit of oil for a couple minutes, add stock and water if needed, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and let simmer for a bit (once veggies are soft, it is ready).

Blend the soup - I recommend immersion blender, easy and less mess. That's it.

The smallest Klatch member busied himself scrubbing potatoes and cutting them up. His knife skills are still emerging so the chunks are irregular shape. Never mind that, since the soup is  puréed, it does not matter if the chunks are, um, awkward.

cooking with kids
This puppy knife from Kuhn Rikon is awesome, sharp enough for chopping but not sharp enough to cut little fingers. 
All photos by ModernKlatch.

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