Eating Idol-ly: Ina Garten's Zucchini Vichyssoise

/ Friday, August 24, 2012

Before you pop off for the weekend, let me to introduce you to my fancy new column: Eating Idol-ly, a collection of foolproof recipes from my culinary idols. These are the recipes I turn to again and again. And what better darling to start with than The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten—my life, my love. 

I always flip through Ina's cookbooks for inspiration, especially Barefoot In Paris (my copy lived with me a Paris and I still remember which stains on it came from my tiny French). The Zucchini Vichyssoise from that book is my favorite! For those who don't know, vichyssoise is just cold potato leek soup but Ina give it a healthful spin by adding chopped zucchini into the mix—genius! You'd never know it was there...

We're both on our second bowl of soup, if that's any indication of how scrumptious it is. It's the perfect make ahead lunch or quick dinner recipe. The whole thing, start to finish, take 45 minutes to make...not too shabby right? What do you think?


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.

[Recipe and portrait photo from]

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