I now have two experts in making stock-based creamy veggie soups! Matt learned just how easy it is to put a bunch of chopped veggies in a pot with chicken stock, puré it, and voilÃ!
Matt hearts zucchini. He learned to love it, of all places, at the local hibachi joint, where they slice it up and sautè it with carrots and the onions they use to make that crazy volcano. So when he saw this recipe ““ even though he didn’t know what vichyssoise was ““ he was instantly enchanted. He chunked up the zucchini, potatoes and what turned out to be the cleanest leeks in existence (I was a little bummed I didn’t get to do a leak-cleaning demo), and tossed it all into a pot with chicken stock. When we came back half an hour later, the veggies were nice and soft, and we grabbed the food mill, like the recipe specifies. Only problem was, the leeks got all shreddy and jammed up the holes on the blade, and the only thing we could get through the mill was the liquidy stock.
Luckily, Matt and I noticed Ina’s side note that you can also use a blender to puré the soup, the only textural difference being the soup’ll be less chunky than if you use a food mill. We put Plan B into action, and within five minutes, we had a big pot of luxuriously rich, creamy zucchini vichyssoise!
You only add a couple tablespoons of cream, and frankly, with the creamy potatoes blended up, I don’t think you even need it. What we did need, however, was considerably more seasoning than the recipe called for, believe it or not. I also added a touch of ground nutmeg for serving, as I think it enhances the flavor of zucchini (curry powder also adds a nice zing to zucchini). The recipe gives you the liberty to eat the soup hot, warm or cold, and being summer, we chose to eat it at room temp. In the winter I could see this being a lovely, hearty soup served hot with warm crusty bread and sea salt butter. I think eating it cold might make the potatoes as bit gluey, but then again, I may be wrong.
If you’ve got a harvest of bowling pin-sized zucchini from your garden, this is one excellent way to use a few up.