Since Maralyn and I off to France again next month, (Bocuse d’Or in Lyon), we cannot seem to get enough French news and recipes.  Although we publish our own recipes, we enjoy passing on information from Bonjour Paris. I love Vichyssoise. This delicious soup  that Karen made in a French cooking class is a new twist on the old cold classic. I tried it hot today with great results. Although I currently live in the tropics, today turned cold , windy and rainy. There is nothing as good as a hot bowl of hearty comfort soup for the Hill Team.

Once Maralyn and I took a French cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu in London. This led to two co-authored published books about France and food,. More importantly, that  cooking course resulted in  a life-long friendship with our instructor from Le Cordon Bleu, French Master Chef Herve’ Laurent. Herve, now the owner of a culinary school, will be the guest chef on the next IFWTWA cruise to Alaska in June. Serendipity.

Check out:

Potage aux Poireaux – Creamy Leek and Potato Soup

By Debra Fioritto

creamy leak and potato soup with dill
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Sometimes I think we take classic recipes for granted as we search for the newest taste sensation. I know that I do. Earlier this week I was assisting at a cooking class that was featuring a few French classics, and as I was doing the prep work before the students arrived I wondered what the students would think about these standard dishes. We had a mix of young and older students, about 18 in all. I was in charge of making and demonstrating Vichyssoise with Zucchini, a super simple dish that blew away all the participants with its flavor. Two 20-somethings came up after class and told me that it was the best soup they had ever tasted and that’s when it hit me—sometimes I take the classics for granted but classics are classics for a reason. Here is a variation on the recipe we had in class. It can be served hot or cold. Et voilà:

Potage aux Poireaux ~ Creamy Leek and Potato Soup with Dill.

·        3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
·        4 leeks, trimmed of all but 2 inches of the green part, well rinsed
·        3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
·        6 cups chicken stock
·        1/2-3/4 cup cream
·        juice of 1 lemon
·        3-4 Tablespoons chopped dill
·        salt and white pepper

1. Slice the cleaned leeks. Cube the potatoes.

2. Melt the butter in a large casserole. Add the leeks and the potatoes.

3. Season the leeks and potatoes with salt and pepper and toss the vegetables to coat with the melted butter. Cook for about 3 minutes.

4. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 45 minutes.

5. Mix the cream and the lemon juice together in a small bowl.

6. Using a stick blender or a food processor, puree the soup.

7. Stir in the cream/lemon juice and minced dill.

To serve:
Ladle the soup into 6 bowls. Garnish with a dill sprig and serve hot.

If you make this soup, please post whether or not is was a sensation. I’m betting it is.

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