Chilled Potato-Leek Soup with Fennel and Watercress (Vichyssoise)
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 leeks, including tender green portion, rinsed
well and coarsely chopped
- 2 fennel bulbs, about 1 lb. total, thinly sliced,
leaves reserved for garnish
- 2 baking potatoes, about 1 lb. total, peeled and
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock or prepared
- 1 bunch watercress, stems removed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook until the vegetables are completely softened, about 20 minutes. Add the watercress and cook until it is wilted but is still bright green, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
In a blender, food mill or food processor, puree the soup in batches until smooth and return the soup to the pot. Alternatively, process with a stick blender in the pot until smooth. Stir in the cream. Season with salt and white pepper, adding a bit of extra salt; flavors are less pronounced when a dish is served cold, so more salt is needed to bring out the taste of the food. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Ladle the soup into chilled bowls and garnish with fennel leaves.