July 1, 2016

Vichyssoise #3 (Scape)

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I love to tinker with vichyssoise, a classic cold French soup. (I can even spell it.) In this
version, garlicky green scapes boost the flavour, while potatoes add creaminess without cream. Although vichyssoise is traditionally a cold soup, this also tastes good warm and at room temperature.

2 tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter
12 oz (375 g) trimmed scapes, cut in segments (1 in/2.5 cm), (2-1/2 cups/625 mL)
2 medium yellow-flesh potatoes (total 12 oz/375 g), peeled, diced (1/2 inch/1 cm)
2 tsp (10 mL) or more kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
3 cups (750 mL) low-sodium chicken/vegetable stock
2 cups (500 mL) whole milk
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground white pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped chives

In medium pan, melt butter on medium heat. Add scapes. Cook, stirring often, 3 minutes, or until softened and bright green. Add potatoes and 2 tsp (10 mL) salt. Cook, stirring often, 1 to 2 minutes, until starting to stick to pan. Stir in garlic 20 seconds. Stir in chicken or vegetable stock. Heat on high. When stock comes to simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes, or until potatoes are very soft.

In batches, purée in blender. Scrape into large storage tub. Stir in milk and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until chilled. Adjust salt.

Before serving, garnish with chives.

Makes 6 cups (1.5 L).

Kitchen Secrets: In this soup, I prefer to use milk instead of the traditional cream, which overwhelms the palate. The potatoes make the soup thick and creamy enough.

Shopping Cart: For vichyssoises, I recommend yellow-flesh potatoes, which are starchy without being gluey. The best-known kind are Canada’s own Yukon golds.

S is for Scapes: Garlic shoots are called scapes, or sometimes, garlic whips. They look like chives on steroids, and taste garlicky.