Monday, September 26, 2011

Meatless Monday: Vichyssoise... AKA Potato Leek Soup

I experienced my first cup of vichyssoise soup this summer at Shelburne Farms in Vermont and I was so impressed by it.  Vichyssoise is a potato-leek soup that is usually served cold, but can also be served hot.  There is still a bit of controversy about whether its origins are French or American, either way, I can tell you that it is delicious!  Because the weather has been so crazy I went for the hot version, preparing for a rainy day.

Since I had some potatoes in the pantry that needed to be used up I decided to experiment a bit.  Traditionally it is a potato and leek based soup complete with heavy cream.  I lightened up this soup by using skim milk and flour as a thickener and it is just as creamy and delicious as I've ever tasted.  To increase the protein and calcium for our vegetarian meal I added silken tofu.  You can omit the tofu if you don't have it on hand.  

A tidbit on leeks:  As you may have assumed, leeks are related to onions and garlic and can add a mild flavor to many types of dishes (soups, stews, casseroles).  They are a great source of folate and are full of flavoids, which may help reduce inflammation and blood vessel damage.  

Preparing leeks:
Cut off green tops of leeks and remove outer tough leaves. Cut off root and cut leeks in half lengthwise. Fan out the leeks and rinse well under running water, leaving them intact. Cut leeks into 2-inch lengths. Holding the leek sections cut side up, cut lengthwise so that you end up with thin strips, known as the chiffonade cut, slicing until you reach the green portion. Make sure slices are cut very thin to shorten cooking time. Let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes before cooking.

Vichyssoise Soup with Tofu:
Serves 6

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp garlic, chopped
4 stalks of leeks, diced
2 potatoes, diced
4 cups of water
2 packets of Herb-Ox sodium free bouillon*
1 cup white wine (optional)
1 cup of soft tofu, mashed
2 cups skim milk
1/2 tsp salt
pepper, to taste

*You could use vegetable or chicken stock too

Directions: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes.  Add leeks and cook for 2 more minutes.  Add water, bouillon, wine, tofu, potatoes, salt, and pepper and simmer for 40 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.  Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.  Place soup in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Add skim milk and cook for 3-5 minutes.  Serve immediately and enjoy with a mixed green salad!

Nutrition Facts: 1 cup
140 calories, 22 g carbohydrates, 8 g protein, 3 g fiber, 3 g fat

1 comment:

  1. i really like the concept of your blog and the pictures you've posted are great. i educated people too, but more about nutrition that's in the food instead of what foods to eat and how to make them. i will definitely use some of your recipes when i cook for myself in the future. Thanks, Becky