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Vichy-what?

“I want a video,” Beluga pines.  His nascent love affair with Lego and their brilliant online video clips [1] has recently eclipsed his passion for fire trucks.  My reply, “I need to start dinner,” is met with a frown.  We’ve been ordering in dinner a little more frequently on account of my feeling very pregnant.  It’s introduced the possibility that dinner can magically appear.  Hence the frown.  But, delivery misses the point of dinner.  It’s about coming together, creating together, talking and enjoying something in the moment together.

“If you help me get dinner cooking, afterwards we can do a video.”

Within seconds, Beluga is dragging a stool over to the sink.  He reaches out for a leek and asks, “What is this?”  I explain about the many kinds of onion as he scrubs it down, his little fingers deftly poking grit out of all its crevices.

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After cleaning three leeks, he asks, “What next?” I cut off the roots and ask him to give the ends another quick rinse.  Focused as he is on completing his task, he fails to ask the usual question, “What are we making?”

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Instead, wondering how many more steps until video time, he diligently washes the ends of the leeks.  “What next?”

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Somewhere in the middle of scrubbing potatoes, his mind shifts away from the fact that he’s making dinner.  He forgets he’s waiting.

Fttt!  Fttt!  Splat!,” Beluga cries out.

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We load the vegetables into the pot together, fill a tea bag with spices, and turn on the stove.

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A couple hours later, the vegetables are soft, the contents of the pot have cooled.  As we transfer it all into a blender, Beluga spies a carton of cream on the counter.

“Could we turn it into ice cream?”  hmmm….

“We’re making Vichyssoise.”

“Vichy-what?”

“It’s potato leek soup.  We’ll chill it, but not to freezing.”

He’s skeptical.

“Could we make a batch to trap flies?”  hmmm…

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The Vichyssoise is smooth and creamy and cool and… satisfying.  Even more satisfying is realizing at bedtime that we still haven’t gotten around to that video.  The Legomen didn’t have a chance.

Print [2]
Kid-made Vichyssoise
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
This recipe isn’t the finest Vichyssoise recipe you’ll find. And that’s the point. It can be made with small hands. We skip chopping and peeling the leeks and potatoes. Instead, everything goes into the pot whole. By the time the vegetables are cooked through, the blender does the rest. Kids can really feel ownership of this recipe, even down to cutting up the chives with a pair of kid-friendly scissors.
Ingredients
  • Roughly 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 3 Leeks, just the white parts
  • 3 Russet Potatoes
  • A Sachet with a couple Cloves, Parsley Stems, a couple Peppercorns, and a Bay Leaf
  • 5 Cups Broth (Vegetable or Chicken, depending on your preference)
  • A Pint of Half and Half
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground Pepper, to taste
  • A Few Chive Stalks
Instructions
  1. Scrub clean the leeks, cutting away the roots and green parts. Then scrub the potatoes.
  2. Put the vegetables into a large pot. Cover with about five cups of broth, or 5 cups of water and a few good boullion cubes (I like Knorr Vegetarian).
  3. Then, put all your spices into a sachet and knot it up so none of the peppercorns or cloves come out. I use a disposable bag designed for brewing loose tea, but there are cheese cloth sachets at the grocery store if you prefer.
  4. Cook your vegetables for 40 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool.
  5. Transfer the contents of your pot to a blender, add the cream and mix until smooth. We blend in batches, and that allows us to tweak the right ratio of liquid and solids so that the soup has just the right consistency.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add some chopped chives to garnish:)