Vichyssoise (Chilled potato & leek soup)

4 tablespoons butter
8 leeks, white part only, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 medium potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
4 fresh chives, finely chopped
1 pinch nutmeg
salt and fresh pepper

In a large, heavy bottom pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Once butter is melted, add the leeks and sweat for 5 minutes, making sure they do not take on any color. Add potatoes and cook for a minute or two, stirring a few times. Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook on low heat, gently simmering for 35 minutes, or until the leeks and potatoes are very soft. Allow to cool for a few minutes.

Slowly, and in SMALL batches, puree the soup at a high speed in the blender. Alternatively, if you have an immersion blender, you can certainly use that. Return soup to the cooking pot and whisk in cream and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Return to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook 5 minutes. If you want to thin soup out, add more broth, if needed.

Transfer soup to the mixing bowl and chill over the ice bath, stirring occasionally. When soup is at room temperature, cover in plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator to cool. Check seasoning, sprinkle with chives and serve in chilled bowls.

This soup DOES get better over time. Keep covered with plastic, not foil in the refrigerator, or it will pick up other tastes.


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