Cucumber vichyssoise

Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields Makes a scant 2 quarts soup
Cucumber vichyssoise
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

In a large pot, sweat the shallots, leeks and onions in butter until completely soft. Add the diced potatoes and enough water to cover. Bring the water to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender. Add the cream and simmer an additional 20 minutes.


Transfer the soup in three batches to a blender and puree, adding one tablespoon of creme fraiche to each batch. Once pureed, pass the soup base through a fine chinois into a bowl, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.


Taste each cucumber to ensure that there is no bitter flavor. Cut the cucumbers into chunks, combine with mint leaves and then pass through a juicer; you should have at least 1 1/2 cups juice (save any extra for another use). When the soup base is completely chilled, combine it with the 1 1/2 cups cucumber juice and season to taste.

This recipe calls for the use of a chinois, a very fine strainer; chinois are available at cooking and restaurant supply stores, as well as online. This recipe also calls for a juicer; juicers are generally available at home and kitchen supply stores, as well as online (the Test Kitchen tested the recipe using a blender instead of a juicer, and passed the puree through a strainer). Keller suggests serving the soup garnished with basil creme fraiche or cherry tomato confit.

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