Last weekend, my daughter attended her first Cotillion. It was a very big deal. She’s gone to lots of parties before, and many of them have even included, dare I say it, boys! But, this was different. This was a formal “affair” in a fancy ballroom, with dinner and dancing and high heels and lipstick. In her stunning dress, with her hair and makeup perfectly done, she was a vision. I hardly recognized her. What happened to my little cherub, with her tumbling curls and sticky fingers? In the blink of an eye, she grew up.
As her father and I dropped her off and watched as she joined the others inside, I felt a tug at my heart. “Wait!”, I wanted to shout, “Come back! I’m not ready for this!” But, I didn’t. I bravely smiled and dutifully waved as she strutted her stuff into that ballroom. (I didn’t even have any stuff to strut when I was her age!) Of course, Mr. SGCC was no help at all. He looked more miserable than I was.
Sigh! It’s going to be a loooooooong next couple of years.
Waiting for us back at home, was a lovely quiche and this rich, velvety vichyssoise. Oh yes, and two HUGE glasses of a crisp Sauvignon Blanc - French, of course!
I’m always looking for creative and inspired ways to serve vegetables. So many times, they seem to be an afterthought to a meal. This recipe is one that I like to make often, because, while it does make a bit of a statement, it isn’t complicated or time-consuming. This vichyssoise can be served hot or cold, which makes it a great make-ahead or left-over dish as well. Dress it up with a dollop of creme fraiche and zucchini curls.
One word of caution, though. If you’re crying in your soup, ease up on the kosher salt. You won’t need as much!
Adapted from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon good olive oil
5 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (4 to 8 leeks)
4 cups chopped unpeeled white boiling potatoes (8 small)
3 cups chopped zucchini (2 zucchini)
1 1/2 quarts homemade chicken stock or canned broth
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons heavy cream
creme fraiche, for garnish
Fresh chives or julienned zucchini, for garnish
Rinse leeks well with cold water. They can be very sandy. Pat with paper towels to dry.
Heat the butter and oil in a large stockpot, add the leeks, and saute over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
Add the potatoes, zucchini, chicken stock, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil; then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Cool for a few minutes and then process through a food mill fitted with the medium disc. Add the cream and season to taste.
Serve either cold or hot, garnished with chopped chives and/or zucchini.