This light and refreshing soup is a delicious way to use summer vegetables. Packed with nutrients from all the greens and protein from the Greek yogurt, it’s a healthy soup too. Vichyssoise is a French word, and though some sources say this type of soup originated in France, some say it began in the United States. In any case, Vichyssoise is usually served cold, though it can also be served warm. It typically consists of potatoes, leeks or some type of onions, and some kind of creamy ingredient, such as milk, cream, or yogurt. There are countless variations, and it’s fun to experiment with it.
The recipe I am sharing below is based on one I found in my latest (and ever-evolving) cookbook obsession, Cranbrook Reflections: A Culinary Collection. It features potatoes, green onions, and cucumbers. However, I substituted garden-fresh spinach and Swiss chard for the lettuce, and Greek yogurt for sour cream. Chilled and blended to a creamy smoothness, it is truly delicious and energizing. With the muggy weather we have been having here, it feels good to have a cold soup packed with rejuvenating greens. It keeps in the refrigerator for a few days, and I know I will be enjoying it for the next couple of lunches.
Today, I believe we will finally have a reprieve from the mosquitoes. The air feels less humid, there is a fresh breeze, and the sun is bright. It has been quite a couple of weeks for mosquitoes here. Maybe this afternoon we can pick our black raspberries and work in the garden, without being attacked! The fresh breeze and warm sun of today make me think of one of my favorite Emily Dickinson excerpts: “Inebriate of Air–am I–/And Debauchee of Dew–/Reeling through endless summer days–/From inns of Molten Blue.” Hope you all have a nice end of the week and weekend!
Summer Garden Vichyssoise
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 to 1 cup chopped green onions
- 1 cup unpeeled potato, thinly sliced
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
- 2 cups shredded greens, such as spinach and Swiss chard
- 3/4 teaspoon fresh dill, finely chopped (leaves only)
- 3 and 1/2 cups chicken broth (you can use vegetable broth if want to make it vegetarian)
- 1 teaspoon of salt, or salt to taste
- dash of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream if you prefer)
Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the potato and green onion and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is softened. Add the cucumber, greens, dill, broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow the soup to cool. Stir in the Greek yogurt. Puree the mixture in a blender in batches until smooth. Refrigerate the soup until cold, or you may serve it warm if desired. Garnish with fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, or chives. Enjoy!