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Vichyssoise (Potato and Leek Soup)
From One-Pot French, by Jean-Pierre Challet

Vichyssoise is the most used and abused French soup in the world. But do not judge it until you have made it properly. My approach is to honor both the traditions and the ingredients, bringing out the best in the potatoes and the leeks. Done right, the flavors will delicately complement each other. Try this recipe, and you will truly know your vichyssoise.

Serve this soup chilled, in shallow bowls. Finish with a sprinkle of chives. It can also be served hot, with a poached egg floating in the center.

Ingredients:

2 shallots, sliced
2 leeks, white part only, sliced
1/4 cup/50 ml unsalted butter
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
6 cups/1.5 liters water
1 bouquet garni
2/3 cup/150 ml whipping cream
salt and pepper

Instructions:

In an uncovered skillet over low heat, cook the shallots and leeks gently in the butter until soft and translucent; do not allow them to color. Add the potatoes, water, and bouquet garni; simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni. Puree the soup using a hand blender. Add the cream; blend again. Season with salt and pepper.

Yield: Serves 4

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