Refreshing & Easy to Make
While the weather’s warm, I make gazpacho every week and keep it in the fridge, and love pureeing cucumber, dill, yogurt, hot chile, lemon juice and celery into a classic Turkish summer soup. But vichyssoise has the sexiest story. In 1950, Louis Diat, the great chef at New York City’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel, told The New Yorker: “In the summer of 1917, when I had been at the Ritz seven years, I reflected upon the potato-and-leek soup of my childhood that my mother and grandmother used to make. I recalled how, during the summer, my older brother and I used to cool it off by pouring in cold milk and how delicious it was. I resolved to make something of the sort for the patrons of the Ritz.
Pea-and-Parsnip Vichyssoise with Tarragon
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup peeled and cubed parsnip
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup tarragon leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 1 pound baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- Freshly ground white pepper
- One 10-ounce bag frozen sweet baby green peas, thawed
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Fresh lime juice
- Snipped chives and small mint leaves, for garnish
In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the parsnip, leeks, celery, onion, garlic, tarragon and bay leaf and cook over moderate heat until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and white pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderately low heat for 45 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.
Add the peas to the pot and simmer until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the heavy cream.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until very smooth. Strain the soup through a fine sieve set over a large bowl, pressing on the solids. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the soup and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Season the chilled soup with lime juice, salt and white pepper. Garnish with the chives and mint and serve.