The Beginning of the End

/ Sunday, February 8, 2009

It started out as such a lovely evening...

With the help of the Rachel Ray Chicken Stock my friend Annaleigh gifted me and Ina's Parisian cookbook, I embarked on an evening of Zucchini Vichyssoise & chick flicks. I was inspired by the short ingredient list and simple instructions of Ina's hearty soup. Although Vichyssoise is definably served cold, I was intending on have my girl friends and I dig into a couple of steamy bowls before heading out to see He's Just Not That Into You

Well, somehow I ended up extremely ill. Just as my girlfriends reached my apartment, I was going down hill. I could neither eat the soup nor go to the movies with my lovely lady friends. (Maybe my stomach couldn't stomach the idea of a movie dedicated to telling girls "No. You're wrong. No matter what you do, he just doesn't like you."Come on!) 

Nevertheless, Carrie ate the soup & loved it! I had a bit for lunch today and I must say I really enjoy the addition of zucchini to the classic vichyssoise. I loaded it up with a lot of black pepper so it's a bit spicy...but that's how I like it. The recipe couldn't be easier. The most tedious part is just the washing and chopping. You chop the zucchini, potatoes and leeks. You cook everything up with a little butter and a bit of olive oil. You add chicken stock, let everything simmer for a half hour, puree it, add cream and you're set!

Zucchini Vichyssoise - Ina Garten 

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.

For dessert: cupcake sandwiches. I took some banana chip cupcakes that I made last week, layered them with Nutella, banana's foster and grilled them on my panini pan. The result...a gooey, chocolatey mess of banana goodness. No monkeying around!

Think of all of the possibilities this opens up. Cupcake sandwiches everyone! You can do double chocolate strawberry, s'mores with cupcakes as the two graham crackers, PB & J's, etc. Enjoy!

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