Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Potage Parmentier / Vichyssoise

The meme that J. from Thinking About... tagged me for recently, reminded me that it's been too long since I've made the miracle soup, Potage Parmentier from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The chilled version, called vichyssoise might give you the idea this is something snooty you have to eat with your nose in the air and your pinkie finger at a sharp angle. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The ingredients are as humble as they can get, leeks, potatoes, water, butter, salt. Unlike many humble-ingredient recipes this dish requires no culinary gymnastics to make them taste good; Julia Child calls it, "simplicity itself". It was actually Julie Powell of the Julie/Julia Project who inspired me to try this. Hell, she inspired me to start blogging all together.

So in tribute to Julie, Julia and J. here's Potage Parmentier:

1 lb peeled, diced potatoes
1 lb thoroughly washed thinly sliced leeks
2 quarts water
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp butter
minced chives for garnish

Simmer the potatoes and leeks in the salted water for 40-50 minutes. Music to simmer French soup by: "C'est comme ca" by Les Rita Mitsouko & The No Comprendo. I just love how they got three languages into their band name. Puree the soup using a food mill or an immersion blender. Add the butter in small bits and whisk in. Taste and correct for salt. Add chives and enjoy. See, wasn't that easy?

If you'd like to try vichyssoise, replace the water in the recipe with chicken stock and the butter with 1/2-1 cup whipping cream. Serve chilled. For my money, though. The hot potage is much better.

15 Comments:

Blogger WHISKEY PUZZLER said...

nice page. id love to eat some

8:47 PM  
Blogger ML said...

You're right, very simple, but looks and sounds wonderful.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Asha said...

Simple and delicious!!

9:55 PM  
Anonymous rowena said...

I agree...serving it hot is the way to go!

8:37 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Puzzler, Thanks for visiting, where'd you get your name?

Hi ML, Good to hear from you!

Hi Asha, Sooo simple, it's the opposite of Indian food.

Hi Rowena, Yeah, vichyssoise doesn't do it for me either.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Lea said...

mmm you know... I've never made vichyssoise, but at the moment I am very inspired to try..... its just whenever I make soup like this I get this overwhelming urge to throw masses of peas in. *shrug*

12:56 PM  
Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

yum! not many cold days left (at least i hope not), but i'll try to fit this soup in anyway :).

2:47 PM  
Blogger hellomelissa said...

perfect for short order chefs like me on a cool night.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous scott said...

vichyssoise is okay when it gets too hot to eat soup, but I stick with the warm stuff too. and nothing says comfort food to me like potato soup.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hey Lea, According to Julia Child peas would be fine. She gives a long list of other veggies, (fresh or leftover) that you can add to this.

Hi Jackie, Well, you could wait and have it cold too.

Hi Melissa, Glad you're back! This soup really is magic, so simple so ceap so good...

Hi Scott, I'm with you.

9:19 PM  
Blogger J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Hmmm...Now I'm torn...make this tonight, with some nice french bread, a salad, and a glass of wine...or wait a few days, because it's supposed to rain, and soup on a rainy day is so lovely...

Decisions decisions... :)

Thanks for the dedication! I have Julie & Julia, and I loved it.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Tracie B. said...

i have never been able to do cold soup. but warm vicchysoisse, now dats good!

4:41 PM  
Blogger Heidi B said...

I just made potato leek soup for the first time this week and it is SO EASY to do and SO GOOD.

Great site.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous KQB said...

I just started that book :) Will try out this recipe soon!

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Gale Reeves said...

I just purchased Julie&Julia and have read chapter 1. When I googled the soup, I found your blog.
Thanks for sharing.

8:09 PM  

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