Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Part One: Vichyssoise

Welcome to the launch of a new feature, in which I’ll be posting some of my favorite never-fail recipes - and suggestions for films to go along with the final results….

Folks always ask, “How can you stand Arizona in the summer?” Well, first of all it’s a dry heat (there really is a difference), and I make this recipe…a lot. A cold, yummy soup makes 120F almost bearable….

A few swirls of Olive Oil (I’m not big on measuring)

3 tbs Butter

1 Onion, chopped (I like sweet Vidalias for this but any kind will do, and yes I know you’re supposed to use leeks but I never seem to have any)

¼ cup Sherry

3 cups Chicken Stock

3 medium Potatoes, peeled and diced

1 cup milk (any fat level you like)

2 heaping dollops Sour Cream (about 4 oz.) …go on, add a little more….

Soup Crackers (mandatory)


1. Place oil and butter in a good, heavy Dutch oven over medium heat until butter dissolves.

2. Add onions and cook until they soften a bit.

3. Place chicken stock in Pyrex container and microwave 4 minutes or until lightly  bubbling (this step is just to save you a little time)

4. Add sherry and cook until onions have absorbed most of it.

5. Add chicken stock and potatoes and simmer covered about 20 minutes or until potatoes are done.

6. Turn off heat and puree contents with an immersion blender (or use a regular blender, but be careful, the soup is not cold yet!)

7. Add milk and sour cream, and stir gently over low heat until sour cream has liquefied.

8. Pour soup into storage container and refrigerate over night. Serve with crackers. 

This is one of those recipes that can be tweaked endlessly. It’s also good with some chopped asparagus or broccoli florets thrown in with the potatoes. Just before serving, try grating a little Parmesan on top or a few drops of truffle oil. Yumskers…

A warm, sunny French film goes great with this dish. May we suggest:

A Summer's Tale

The Perfume of Yvonne

Let it Rain