Monday, June 11, 2012

The JC100: A Celebration of Julia Child {Recipe: Vichyssoise}

The JC100: Julia Child's Potage Parmentier (Leek and Potato Soup) - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go
Potage Parmentier (Leek and Potato Soup)

Confession time.

Despite the title of this post, I did not make vichyssoise.

Although Julia Child's recipe for cold leek and potato soup was significantly less complicated than some other JC100 recipes we've seen, I just wasn't in the mood for a chilled soup. And I didn't want to go through the motions of making a dish that I had no desire to eat. So... I made Julia's recipe for Potage Parmentier, the hot version of vichyssoise, instead.



Round Dutch Oven - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go
Round Dutch Oven

Either way, making soup gave me the perfect excuse to use my gorgeous round Dutch oven from JCPenney. Every time I look at it I smile.

Even when I'm hand-washing it in the kitchen sink.

Sliced Leeks - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go
Sliced Leeks

Bowl of Diced Potatoes - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go
Diced Potatoes

The list of ingredients for [cold or hot] leek and potato soup is short, therefore, it is imperative that you use the highest quality ingredients possible and that you take care in the preparation of those ingredients. This is especially important for the leeks.

Take your time and thoroughly clean the leeks to ensure the removal of all of the dirt and sand that will inevitably be trapped between the leaves. If you rush through this step, you'll wind up with a gritty mess. And no one wants to force themselves to the bottom of a bowl of gritty soup.

Since I prepared Potage Parmentier, that's the recipe given first in this post. Scroll down if you're looking for the recipe for Vichyssoise.

Some notes:
  • In order to give the soup a little more flavor, I used low-sodium, reduced-fat chicken stock instead of water.

  • I didn't risk hurting my head in deciding whether to use whipping cream or butter in this recipe. I used both (2 tablespoons of whipping cream plus 1 tablespoon of butter).

  • Since I had leftover scallions from the Niçoise Salad, I minced those up and used the scallions as a garnish instead of parsley or chives. 


Potage Parmentier (Leek and Potato Soup)

For about 2 quarts serving 6 to 8 people

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound peeled potatoes, sliced or diced
  • 1 pound thinly sliced leeks, including the tender green
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons whipping cream or 2 to 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons minced parsley or chives

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Simmer the vegetables, water, and salt together, partially covered, for 40 to 50 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

  2. Mash the vegetables in the soup with a fork, or pass the soup through a food mill. Correct [the] seasoning.

  3. [If making ahead of time, then] set aside uncovered until just before serving, then reheat to the simmer.

  4. Off heat and just before serving, stir in the cream or butter by spoonfuls.

  5. Pour into a tureen or soup cups and decorate with the herbs.

Excerpted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Copyright © 1961 by Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.



One of the reasons why participating in the JC100 is so enjoyable is having the opportunity to read about other people's experiences with Julia's recipes. Now that we're a few weeks into the campaign, I thought it would be fun to feature some Vichyssoise/Potage Parmentier blog posts from other JC100 bloggers.


Taste As You Go has received permission to publish the following photos.


The JC100: Julia Child's Vichyssoise - Photo Courtesy of BS' In The Kitchen


Vichyssoise (Cold Leek and Potato Soup)

For 6 to 8 people


INGREDIENTS
  • 3 cups peeled, sliced potatoes
  • 3 cups sliced white of leek
  • 1 1/2 quarts white stock, chicken stock, or canned chicken broth
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 cup whipping cream
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons minced chives

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Simmer the vegetables in stock or broth [for 40 to 50 minutes until the vegetables are tender].

  2. Puree the soup either in the electric blender, or through a food mill and then through a fine sieve.

  3. Stir in the cream. Season to taste, oversalting very slightly as salt loses savor in a cold dish. Chill.

  4. Serve in chilled soup cups and decorate with minced chives.
Excerpted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Copyright © 1961 by Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

For more in The JC100 Series of Julia Child Recipes, see:

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to Taste As You Go’s RSS feed or subscribing via email so you don’t miss a thing!