Lunch with Gretchen (again)

I have had so many meals with Gretchen that I am very backlogged with posting, so here goes one out of about eight.

Gretchen’s parents redid their kitchen this summer, and it was GORGEOUS.  It looks like a show kitchen-I’ll have to take some pictures next time I’m there.  One day, CK and I went to visit and we had lunch.  On the menu: meatball subs and vichyssoise, a French potato and leek soup.  Gretchen was kind enough to share her recipe for the soup.

Vichyssoise (VI-shee-swaz)-makes about 5 cups

This is a French soup that is traditionally served chilled, but we had it warm.  I loved it, and I’m sure it would taste good chilled too.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced leek (white part only)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 cups chopped and peeled potato (about 3 medium-sized potatoes)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup half and half cream
  • chopped fresh chives for garnish

To prepare the leeks, trim off the root end and the tough green leaves.  Cut it in half lengthwise.  Hold under a stream of cold running water and separate the lawyers with your fingers to rinse out any grit trapped inside.

Melt butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add potato and onion.  Crush or roll dried thyme between your fingers to release the herb’s flavours, and add to the pan.  Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until leek and onion are softened.  Add the next 6 ingredients and stir.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.  Boil gently, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potato is tender.  Discard bay leaf.  Let soup cool and process with hand blender or use standard blender.

Add cream.  Stir well.  If you choose to serve it cold, transfer soup to a large bowl, and cool at room temperature before covering, and chill for at least 2 hours.  Garnish with chives before serving.

Other notes: Gretchen has omitted the onions in the past and used 2 cups of leeks instead.  Shallots would also work.


Shot of soup and marinara sauce on the stovetop.

Meatball sub.



Thanks for another delicious meal Gretchen!  I can’t wait for the next one!



Posted on October 13, 2011, in Recipes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. We’re getting a new kitchen soon! I can’t wait. This lunch looks awesome by the way, exquisite meatballs! I love the hob especially!

  2. Looks delicious! I’m going to try the soup one day, thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: