Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Zucchini Vichyssoise

Served in "shooter" glasses, I top each one with a single homemade crouton and a flat-leafed parsley leaf from my garden.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  To me it means not just giving thanks for another year gracing the planet (and those of you who know me know that I haven't always been so certain that I'd make it to the next one), but spending time with family, having a delicious meal, and NO GIFTS!  It means the fragrant aroma of turkey roasting in the oven, a fire crackling in the living room fireplace while we enjoy our cocktails, and another in Franklin stove in the dining room where we'll enjoy our meal.  

I have been serving Thanksgiving dinner for the past 22 years.  I shudder to think that it's been that long, not because of all of the work that I've done, but because it means I'm that old!  I serve a formal dinner that I begin planning at the end of October, and I love every minute of the preparation.  I always begin with soup.  Generally I serve my much-requested Potato-Leek Soup, a recipe I concocted on my own, with a special ingredient that I will take with me to my grave.  Other years I've dabbled with Butternut Squash Bisque, Cream of Artichoke and Jerusalem Artichoke Soup (my personal favorite, perhaps because my husband makes it), and Zucchini Vichyssoise.  Since I grew both zucchini and leeks in my garden this year I've chosen the latter, and will serve it in shooter glasses -- a fun, practical way to serve soup when you have a crowd.

  This is Ina Garten's recipe and can be found in her wonderful cookbook Barefoot in Paris (2004).

Zucchini Vichyssoise

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon good olive oil
5 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (4 to 8 leeks)
4 cups chopped unpeeled white boiling potatoes (8 small)
3 cups chopped zucchini (2 zucchini)
1 1/2 quarts Homemade Chicken Stock, recipe follows, or canned broth
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Fresh chives or julienned zucchini, for garnish

Heat the butter and oil in a large stockpot, add the leeks, and saute over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, zucchini, chicken stock, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil; then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool for a few minutes and then process through a food mill fitted with the medium disc. Add the cream and season to taste. Serve either cold or hot, garnished with chopped chives and/or zucchini.

NOTE: This soup can be made ahead and frozen with excellent results.

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9 comments:

Jo's This and That said...

Thanks for sharing! It looks good!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I did 'shooters' of celery soup last year at Thanksgiving. I think it's a fun and less formal way to serve a soup course.

If it's Ina's recipe it has to be good! Love the addition of leeks and potatoes. I'm looking forward to trying this one.

Gone-ta-pott said...

I love the idea of soup in a shooter with a homemade crouton on top. What a great idea for a dinner party. I love your story of planning and serving your family Thanksgiving meals for 22 years. It's times like this that I wish God had blessed me with children. Oh well... I shall try the soup in a shooter for me and the hubby. :)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Do you know, I think I would rather eat soup than just about anything, and I'm always looking for good ones and creative ways to serve it. This is perfect. THANKS!

And now you know you have all of us wondering what your "secret" ingredient is. LOL! I have a friend who was like that about her pimento cheese. She made the best EVER, and one day, she decided she wanted me to know what her secret was. It was very simple, but it makes a HUGE difference in the flavor.

XO,

Sheila

Dee said...

Wow, this really looks like the perfect soup to me! I'm so ready for soup right now. I love serving small shots of soup at parties or as the start of a meal. I'm hungry now! Have a great day.

Kathleen said...

I commend you for carrying on the tradition of Tgiving. We have 28, and I decided to let the younger ones do it. I still do a lot of the cooking, but they get to do all the setting and cleaning up!
I don't have shooter glasses, but I bought sweet low martini glasses in WSonoma on SALE to serve the soups. Easy to hold, and big enough for the spoon!

Pat's Pink Apron said...

Sounds delishes! Pat

Andrea @Oasis Accents said...

This sounds very interesting. I might just have to give it a try. Thanks for linking up to Sunday's Best =)

GirlWithChalk said...

Lovely presentation!