Zucchini Vichyssoise

Fancy name, but simple soup.  Veggies, broth, and blended together into something hearty and delicious.  It's super healthy, and doesn't require a lot of ingredients at all.  Oh, and it's an Ina Garten recipe, so "how easy is that?!"
I left out the cream she suggested to keep this dairy free, but you're welcome to add it!  To compensate for the missing cream, I added a poached egg on top.  The creamy yolk was delicious in the soup and made this into more of a meal.  Also I got really good at poaching eggs with every subsequent bowl of leftovers!  I was so afraid before, but poached eggs really aren't that bad.
A little salt and pepper sprinkled on top of the poached egg, and you've got a nice warm bowl of healthy soup for the winter night.
I had chicken broth on hand, but to keep this vegetarian or vegan, use vegetable broth.  Sliced leeks bring the flavor.  Potatoes keep this hearty.  Zucchini for even more veggies.
 Saute leeks to soften them up and get all flavorful.
Add the rest of the veggies, broth, salt and pepper.
Simmer for 30 minutes to meld all the flavors and soften up the veggies.
An immersion blender makes quick work of this, but you can use a blender and work in batches.
Ina recommends a food mill, which removes the skin and makes this really smooth.  You can go that route, or run the soup through a fine-mesh strainer, but I wanted to keep a little more heartiness to the soup and chose to keep the skins on the potatoes and in the soup.
The soup can stand alone, but adding the poached egg was my fav.
Don't be intimidated!  Poached eggs aren't difficult!  And their creamy yolk is perfection in this. 
It's a healthy meal to keep you warm on a cold night.  And the leftovers freeze perfectly.
Zucchini Vichyssoise, from Ina Garten

2 tablespoons olive oil (or mix of butter and olive oil)
5 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts (about 4-8 leeks)
4 cups diced potatoes, red or yukon gold
3 cups diced zucchini, about 2 medium
6 cups broth, chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Optional to finish:
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Poached egg

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat the oil over medium-low.  Saute the leeks for 5 minutes, starting to get translucent and fragrant.  Add the potatoes, zucchini, broth, salt and pepper.  Increase the heat to medium-high to bring to a boil, then lower back to medium-low and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Using an immersion blender, process until smooth.  Or, process through a food mill.  Or, add a few cups to your blender at a time and run until smooth.  When blending hot soup in a blender, always remember to leave the top half open and cover with a dish towel, otherwise they have a tendency to explode.

If desired, stir in the heavy cream, or prepare poached eggs to serve.


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