Catholic Recipe: Seven-Herb Vichyssoise
- 2 cups potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 2 cups leeks (carefully washed) or onions, sliced
- 2 quarts water or chicken broth
- 1 to 2 cups mixed chopped greens (see Note)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- White pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Watercress leaves to garnish
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: N/A
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From Evelyn Vitz, A Continual Feast, she suggests a "green" menu for Holy Thursday, beginning with this soup. This is a classic Vichyssoise-cold leek (or onion) and potato soup-but with a refreshing greenness and a symbolic touch added. There is an old French tradition of preparing on Holy Thursday a soup made with seven greens. Vendors in the Old French Market of New Orleans would call out to the housewives: "Buy your seven greens for good luck!"
Place the potatoes, leeks, and water in a large saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and simmer, partly covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes and onions are tender. Add the greens and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes longer, or until the greens are tender.
Puree the mixture in a blender, adding the heavy cream as you blend.
Pour the soup into a serving bowl or tureen. Add the white pepper to taste and the lemon juice. Taste for seasoning. If you plan to serve the soup cold, oversalt it slightly. Check for consistency: if the soup seems too thick, you can add a little milk or chicken broth or water; if it is too watery, add a little more cream. Chill for several hours. (This soup is also good hot. When reheating it, do not bring it to a boil.)
Garnish with the reserved watercress leaves.
Note: Ideally, a combination of seven of the following greens should be used to make this soup: watercress, spinach, chicory, green onions, collards, mustard and turnip greens; beet, carrot, and radish tops; or dandelion greens.Recipe Source: Continual Feast, A by Evelyn Birge Vitz, Ignatius Press, San Francisco , 1985
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