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Chilled leek and potato soup with shrimp and fennel salad

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Chilled leek and potato soup, also known as Vichyssoise, is a classic French cream soup of velvety-rich potatoes with sharp, green alliums made soft and mellow by chilled cream. It can serve as an ultimate elegant appetiser for a summertime dinner party.

The famous dish is traditionally served chilled during warm weather, similar to gazpacho, but also lends itself to a warm preparation during colder months.

Variations on the standard potato and leek formula for vichyssoise may include other alliums like shallots or green garlic, root vegetables like parsnips, or seasonal ingredients like fresh peas or cauliflower. In its preparations, the unifying features are cream and the chilling of the finished puree. The thick, cold soup remarkably manages to be salty and thirst quenching at the same time. Contrary to its presumed Frenchness, the soup is completely American.

Garnish with some shrimps and fennel salad as it pairs well with the soup.

Quantity                                             Ingredients:

{Divide the quantity into 4}

  • 750 g                         Leeks, white part only
  • 750 g                                     Potatoes, peeled
  • 60 ml                         Olive oil
  • 2.25 L             Chicken stock to taste
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • 375 g                         Tender fennel bulbs, trimmed
  • 20 ml                         Lemon juice
  • 30 ml                          Olive oil
  • 36 Small cooked shrimp
  • 250 ml Heavy cream
  • 250 ml Buttermilk

Per serving:

Calories – 240; Protein – 8g; Fat – 15g (55% cal.); Cholesterol 55 mg; Carbohydrates – 22g; Fibre – 3g; Sodium – 90mg.

Method:

  1. Cut the leeks and potatoes into thin slices.
  2. Sweat the leeks in olive oil without letting them brown.
  3. Add the stock and potatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Pass the soup through a food mill.
  5. If the soup is too thick, add a little stock to bring it to proper consistency.
  6. Chill the soup thoroughly.
  7. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
  8. While the soup is chilling, prepare the garnish. Cut the fennel in half length-wise through the
    base; then, cut length-wise into paper-thin slices (a slicing machine may be used). Cut these
    slices length-wise into rough julienne.
  9. Toss the fennel with the lemon juice, then with half the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Toss the shrimp with the remaining olive oil.
  11. Stir the heavy cream and buttermilk into the chilled soup.
  12. Arrange the fennel salad in the centre of broad soup plates. Arrange 3 shrimp on top of each
    mound of fennel.
  13. Place the soup plate in front of the diner, then ladle in a portion of soup from a tureen.



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