Thursday, May 24, 2018

Casual Dinner Party and Vichyssoise

We had a couple friends over for dinner a few weekends ago.  And we knew it was meant to be a casual dinner for us to have the opportunity to get to know a friend's new significant other a little bit better.  The emphasis was definitely going to be on hanging out and socializing.  But I still wanted to make some fun food.

I decide to keep things simple and not serve official "courses."  They also wanted to help out with cooking so I decided to make something we could nosh on while chopping vegetables to start out with.  I went with a baked ricotta, served with little garlic toasts.  It tasted good, but it wasn't anything amazing.  On the plus side, it was fairly easy.  Just seasoning up the ricotta with salt, herbs, garlic and lemon zest before baking it.

Speaking of chopping vegetables, I also made Spring Roasted Vegetables with a brown butter sauce.  The only change I made in the recipe was that I used carrots instead of potatoes.  This was a real winner!  Not only is it a beautiful dish with all the different colors, but the brown butter sauce tasted amazing.  And it was a pretty easy sauce that I think would be good on a lot of different types of food.

Lastly, I knew I wanted a cold soup but one of my guests didn't like gazpacho.  So I decided to try out vichyssoise.  It's a cold potato leek soup and it seemed like it would be delicious.  I started out using this recipe as inspiration as I was hoping to find purple potatoes.  Alas, I wasn't able to find them but the soup was still delicious without the purple color.  Here's my version of the soup.

Makes 5 to 6 servings

1 bulb of garlic
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 tbl butter
2 leeks, white and light green parts only
4 cups diced peeled potatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
salt to taste
1 cup cream
chives, for serving

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut of the top of the bulb of garlic, exposing the tops of the individual cloves inside.  Drizzle olive oil over the top, sprinkle with a bit of salt, and wrap in foil.  Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

While the garlic is baking, begin working on the soup.  Melt the butter in a large pot and saute the leeks over low heat until translucent . Add the potatoes, broth and water and bring to a boil. Simmer 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Let cool slightly, add the salt, cream, and squeeze the individual cloves of garlic into the soup. Puree until smooth.  Feel free to add more liquid if needed to bring it to your desired texture.

And that's it!  We had made the soup in the morning so it had time to chill.  We garnished with chopped chives before serving.  It was absolutely delicious but I have to say, it was even better when I had the left overs for lunch the next day.  The soup was so simple, with only a few ingredients but the flavors melded together really well.

 I'm linking up with Deborah and Sarah for Meatless Monday.

 Jalapeno Quinoa Lentil Slaw