Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Harvest - or why kids eat it if it has a French name!

Wild, waving leaves in dusty hued celadon tempted me into the garden today and the leeks from the garden are inspiring new dishes. Not very original but only three ingredients and perfect for this chilly week is my version of Vichyssoise (much more yummy apparently than leek and potato soup!), although served hot unlike traditional Vichy. 

I find the fresh leeks have such a fine flavour no milk or cream is needed just leeks, potato and chicken stock -the trick is to sauté the vegetables for as long as you can on a very low heat (25-30 min) to bring out the flavours. Pour over the stock, bring to the boil and then blend. Here I have sprinkled over nutmeg and some crispy onion flakes to serve.

I do like the charming story from the chef who created Vichyssoise, Louis Diat …

In the summer of 1917, when I had been at the Ritz seven years, I reflected upon the potato and leek soup of my childhood which my mother and grandmother used to make. I recalled how during the summer my older brother and I used to cool it off by pouring in cold milk and how delicious it was. I resolved to make something of the sort for the patrons of the Ritz.