Spinach Vichyssoise

I had a fancy dinner planned for Saturday evening, meaning drinks and hors d’oeuvres and a few courses, mostly experiment recipes, for our good friends Susan and Richard. They are among my “regular” tasters and every once in a while I invite them to “review” some of the latest creations. They are good sports. I cooked a couple of the do-ahead items, including Spinach Vichyssoise intended to be served as “shots” with our cocktails, and was ready to get in my car to shop for the other ingredients when, unfortunately, I realized I had done something to my knee and it felt weird and I had trouble walking. When I looked down at it, it was three times its usual size and my leg looked like there was a boulder attached. So much for working out. After a half day on the couch, ice-on, ice-off it wasn’t any better so Ed took me to the ER, where an orthopedist told me to stay on the couch, ice-on, ice-off for a few more days. Dinner was cancelled, naturally.  But Susan and Richard told us to come on over for dinner, which we did, me hobbling into the car with my ice pack wrapped in a towel and with my father’s cane, which Ed and I bought for him once, a long time ago in London, and has a cobra head for a handle. Susan and Richard are good people. I am grateful to have them as friends. I’ll do that dinner some other time, with different recipes. As for the food I prepared, my daughter Gillian, son-in-law Jesse and their three kids came for a visit Sunday and became the tasters. They ate the frittata that I was going to cut up and serve on baguette slices — more on that in a few days. They ate some carrot soup and also the Spinach Vichyssoise, not in aperitif glasses, but in bowls, like regular soup, because it’s good that way too. It’s a good make-ahead dish and equally wonderful whether you serve it cold or hot. Spinach Vichyssoise 2 tablespoons olive oil 3 large all-purpose potatoes, peeled and chopped 1 large yellow onion, chopped 2 large leeks, cleaned and chopped 2 carrots, chopped 1 small Serrano pepper, deseeded and chopped (or other chili pepper) 5 cups vegetable stock 1 medium bunch spinach, wash, drained and coarsely chopped salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 cup coconut milk Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the potatoes, onion, leeks, carrots and Serrano pepper and cook them over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened. Add the stock. Bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the spinach, season to taste with salt and pepper, cover the pan and cook for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor and return the soup to the pan. Stir in the coconut milk and heat through. OR, refrigerate and serve chilled. Makes 8 servings

I had a fancy dinner planned for Saturday evening, meaning drinks and hors d’oeuvres and a few courses, mostly experiment recipes, for our good friends Susan and Richard. They are among my “regular” tasters and every once in a while I invite them to “review” some of the latest creations.

They are good sports.

I cooked a couple of the do-ahead items, including Spinach Vichyssoise intended to be served as “shots” with our cocktails, and was ready to get in my car to shop for the other ingredients when, unfortunately, I realized I had done something to my knee and it felt weird and I had trouble walking. When I looked down at it, it was three times its usual size and my leg looked like there was a boulder attached.

So much for working out.

After a half day on the couch, ice-on, ice-off it wasn’t any better so Ed took me to the ER, where an orthopedist told me to stay on the couch, ice-on, ice-off for a few more days.

Dinner was cancelled, naturally. 

But Susan and Richard told us to come on over for dinner, which we did, me hobbling into the car with my ice pack wrapped in a towel and with my father’s cane, which Ed and I bought for him once, a long time ago in London, and has a cobra head for a handle.

Susan and Richard are good people. I am grateful to have them as friends.

I’ll do that dinner some other time, with different recipes. As for the food I prepared, my daughter Gillian, son-in-law Jesse and their three kids came for a visit Sunday and became the tasters. They ate the frittata that I was going to cut up and serve on baguette slices — more on that in a few days. They ate some carrot soup and also the Spinach Vichyssoise, not in aperitif glasses, but in bowls, like regular soup, because it’s good that way too.

It’s a good make-ahead dish and equally wonderful whether you serve it cold or hot.

Spinach Vichyssoise

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 large all-purpose potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 large leeks, cleaned and chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 small Serrano pepper, deseeded and chopped (or other chili pepper)

5 cups vegetable stock

1 medium bunch spinach, wash, drained and coarsely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup coconut milk

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the potatoes, onion, leeks, carrots and Serrano pepper and cook them over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened. Add the stock. Bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the spinach, season to taste with salt and pepper, cover the pan and cook for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor and return the soup to the pan. Stir in the coconut milk and heat through. OR, refrigerate and serve chilled.

Makes 8 servings