So I wanted an alternative to gazpacho (and I don’t mean swapping cucumber for watermelon, etc., been there/done that. Delicious, but.) that screamed springtime, and here it is. I’ve made this vichyssoise a couple of times now, it’s a winner. I think it’s best just a bit chillier than room temperature, however I brought some to work to share with my pal/colleague Becky and we agreed it’s also lovely warm. Adapted from this easy peasy recipe at foodandwine.com.
- 2 leeks, white & light green parts, rinsed well (watch that sand!) and sliced
- 2 tsp olive oil + 1 tsp unsalted butter
- 1 bunch green asparagus (400-500 g.) woody ends cut off and chopped into 1″ chunks
- 2 medium yellow-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
- 1 thyme sprig (fresh or dried)
- a pinch of fennel seeds (use seeds, not fresh fennel or it overpowers the asparagus)
- 500 ml broth (chicken or vegetable)
- sea salt to taste
- 200-250 ml milk
- freshly ground pepper (5 peppercorn blend is nice)
- freshly snipped chives and olive oil, to serve
Melt the butter/olive oil in a large saucepan.Add the leeks and cook over medium heat, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus stalks, potatoes, broth, water, fennel, thyme and a good grating of pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Take the soup off the heat source and let it cool down a bit. Discard the thyme sprig. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add the milk and blend again, adding a bit more milk depending on the consistency you prefer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let the soup cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. Take soup out of fridge and allow to come to just below room temperature before serving.
Ladle into bowls and drizzle with just a bit of a nice cold-pressed olive oil and freshly snipped chives.
Servings: Four generous bowls. 125 calories