There’s nothing like seasonal produce. In spring, garden-fresh spinach, tender snap peas, spring onions, and asparagus grace our tables. In fall, we can look forward to kale, arugula, and Swiss chard. One easy, tasty way to make use of an overload of seasonal vegetables is by making a pot of vegetable vichyssoise, a creamy potato and leek soup that originates from France. This delicate soup can be eaten hot or cold, so it’s perfect for warm or cool days. And, it’s so good that your friends will be asking for the recipe!
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
3 cups sliced leeks and/or onions
3 cups coarsely chopped spinach, kale, chard, arugula, asparagus, or snap peas (strings removed)
2.5 cups chopped peeled potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup half and half
Chop and prepare all ingredients before beginning. In a large pot, add the butter and oil and heat until it begins to sizzle. Add the onions or leeks and cook until translucent and soft (7-10 minutes). Add the stock, chopped potatoes, veggies, salt, and pepper and heat to a rolling boil then turn it down to medium-low heat. Simmer the soup for 25 to 30 minutes then remove from the heat and cool for another 30 minutes. Add the soup to a blender or food processor and mix until smooth, and then add the half and half.
This soup tastes delicious with a drizzle of hot sauce and looks pretty garnished with fresh herbs from the garden.
Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.
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