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Chilled Potato and Leek Soup

Vichyssoise, the classic chilled soup of potatoes, leeks, cream and sometimes butter, is rich and delicious—and high in fat. This low-fat version delivers the buttery flavor of the original by using yellow-fleshed potatoes and just a small amount of butter. Homemade stock will enrich the flavor and keep the sodium content modest. To avoid visible flecks of pepper, season the soup with white pepper rather than black.

Ingredients:

  • 4 leeks, white portion only, rinsed well and chopped 
  • 4 large green onions, white portion only, chopped 
  • 3 cups chicken stock 
  • 1 lb. yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold, peeled and diced 
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter 
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, or more, to taste 
  • Freshly ground white pepper to taste 
  • 2 Tbs. snipped fresh chives

Directions:

In a Dutch oven or large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the leeks, green onions and 1/2 cup of the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook the vegetables until they have wilted and begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the potatoes and the remaining 2 1/2 cups stock, re-cover and cook until the vegetables are very soft, 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, uncover and let the soup stand for 15 minutes to cool slightly. Stir in the butter.

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it is very smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Alternatively, working in batches, carefully puree in a standing blender until very smooth. Season with the salt and white pepper. Let the soup cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, 3 to 4 hours or up to overnight. The soup will thicken, becoming very creamy.

Just before serving, taste the soup and adjust the seasoning. Divide it among soup bowls and garnish with the chives. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).