VichyssoiseBowl2010VertbfLOOne of the things I really like about living here at the Northeastern edge of Illinois is that the weather here is a LOT like that in New England: don’t like it? Wait thirty minutes and it’ll change.

In that vein, we’ve had three distinct seasons (but not in order – also kind of like New England) in the past three days. Monday continued Sunday’s glorious late spring weather: clear blue skies, light breeze, temps in the comfortable mid 70’s. Tuesday dawned cold, gray and damp; spitting rain on us off and on all day and only giving us temps in the 60’s – more normal for October than June. Today, the clouds are fighting the sun and the lake breeze is fighting the muggy front moving in from the West and losing. Temps are in the mid 80’s and forecast to hit uncomfortably into the 90’s by tomorrow – welcome to summer! The warm, sultry weather has put me in mind of one of my favorite summertime treats – vichyssoise (or, cold potato soup if you prefer). It’s really pretty simple to make from scratch; but my preferred way to make it is also probably the easiest by far – all you need is a blender, a day for chilling, and some refrigerator space!

My Aunt Buzz lived in the second house down from the top of a mountain (really, a large hill) that overlooked Beach Pond in the White Mountains region of New Hampshire (to be considered a Lake in New England, a body of water has to be at least seven miles long, and Beach Pond was only around 6.5).

She loved to entertain, but didn’t really care for cooking, and certainly didn’t want to miss out on anything going on with her guests while she was stuck in the kitchen, so she kept a great stock pile of really good recipes that she could whip up well before her guests arrived and then just pop the sucker into the oven or out of the fridge as needed.

This recipe is one of the latter; rich, cold and creamy – a meal in itself for lunch, or an extraordinary starter for dinner – you do need to plan for at least an overnight chill, if possible in a glass blender jar (plastic just does not hold the cold as well, in my humble opinion) and then serve it as you will. I should mention that, tho’ I LOVE this soup, a lot of people do not share my regard – maybe they’re not big ‘cold’ soup people, I don’t know – it just means there’s that much more for me!

VichyssoiseBowlAltbfLO•1 can condensed cream of potato soup
•1 soup can milk
•1/2 cup sour cream
•Dash of garlic powder
•Chives, for garnish

Combine the soup, milk, sour cream and garlic powder in a blender and mix well, scraping down the sides as necessary. Chill overnight, blend again to ‘froth up’ and serve topped with fresh snipped chives.

Heaven in a bowl…

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