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.